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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 



1 




PRIVATE AND OFFICIAL 

CORRESPONDENCE OF 

GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 



PRIVATE AND OFFICIAL 
CORRESPONDENCE OF 

GEN. BENJAMIN F. RUTLER 

DURING THE PERIOD 
OF THE CIVIL WAR 



IN FIVE VOLUMES 

VOLUME V 
August 1864 March 1868 



PRIVATELY ISSUED 
1917 



A^ f 



COPYRIGHT, 1917 
BY JESSIE AMES MARSHALL 



THE -PLIMPTON -PRESS 
NORWOOD -MASS XT S A 



PRIVATE AND OFFICIAL 

CORRESPONDENCE OF 

GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 



3 C 55 Oo 



PRIVATE AND OFFICIAL 
CORRESPONDENCE OF 

GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 



From General Butler to General Grant 

UNOFFICIAL. Head Quarters, August 4, 1864 

MY DEAR SIR: I have been reading the newspaper accounts 
of the Petersburg affair, and beg leave to call your attention 
to the blame cast upon the negro troops. They ought to bear 
all their share of the odium which attaches to the failure, but 
no more. If it be true, as alleged, that the failure is owing to 
their want of courage, conduct, and inefficiency, then it would 
seem that the negro could never make a soldier, and the policy 
of the Government upon this subject is wrong and should at 
once be changed. If they are not to blame, that fact, it is 
respectfully suggested, should be ascertained and declared in 
the most solemn form of military investigation and report. 
Upon this precise movement of these troops at Petersburg I 
have no opinion, because I do not know the fact. Certain it is 
that there is fault somewhere; and I think, and venture most 
respectfully to suggest that it is due to yourself, the army, and 
the country that the fault should be ascertained, so that the 
remedy may be applied either mediately or immediately by 
yourself or the War Department, if the matter is susceptible 
either of amendment or correction. 

If the whole affair can be investigated, it will be found that 
the plan of movement was excellent, that the strategy which 
drew Lee s attention to the north side of the James accomplished 
all that could be desired in drawing away his troops. This 
much I know, for a portion of this it was my business to know. 
Why, then, did the plan fail? Clearly for want of proper and 
efficient execution. Was that failure of execution inherent 
and irremediable in the very nature of things, and in troops 
engaged, or did it arise from other causes, or the faults and 



2 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

incompetency of commanding officers of any subdivision of 
the army? This is the subject that in my judgment needs 
investigation. 

It is true that by the articles of war to prevent oppression 
by the commander upon any officer under him, a commanding 
General cannot order a Court of Inquiry upon any officer s 
conduct without his request. But it is clearly competent for 
the commander of an army to order a Court of Inquiry, or a 
Board of Officers to investigate and report the facts relating to 
a given movement or occurrence, in order to furnish the basis 
upon which the General commanding can ask for a Court of 
Inquiry upon any officer. And if, in the investigation of the 
facts of a given transaction, the conduct or capacity of any 
officer becomes a question bearing upon the subject matter of 
the inquiry, then that conduct and capacity can be investi 
gated as incidental to the main question or investigation. 

Pardon me if in urging this inquiry I am overstepping the 
bounds of official propriety or sphere of duty, either public 
or official. I am prompted by a double motive: A desire not 
to have this most serious reverse placed where I know it does 
not belong, i.e. either on the plan or strategy which preceded 
it; and secondly, as I raised the first regiment of negro troops 
and have ever since urged their employment, I desire to have 
my own judgment corrected if in the wrong. 

We are likely to have these troops under the last Act of 
Congress on the draft in large numbers, and if they are to be 
useless, it ought to be known at once. Such has not been my 
experience, and I am ready and willing now to take under my 
command the defeated division of General Burnside s colored 
troops, and with them to attempt any work that any troops 
ought to try, subject always to have my opinions altered by 
any well-ascertained facts developed in the investigation to 
which I have alluded, which ought to affect a well-balanced 
mind. Believe me, General, 

Yours truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Grant 

Head Quarters Armies of the United States, CITY POINT, Va. Aug. 4th, 1864 

Maj. Genl. B. F. BUTLER, Comd g. Dept. Va. & N. C. 

GENERAL: Lt. King s communication in relation to closing 
the port of Wilmington with torpedoes is received. I called 
Admiral Lee s attention to this matter some time ago, think- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 3 

ing myself it was perfectly feasible. The Admiral, however, 
thought differently, giving as a reason for his views that both 
channels were commanded by the enemy s guns. All the 
torpedoes we would plant during the night the enemy would 
take up during the day. 

I certainly, however, would like the experiment tried, and 
if you will arrange with Adm l Lee for his co-operation, what 
you may do will have my approval. I am, Gen., Very respect- 

Your obt. serv t., U. S. GRANT, Li. Gen. 
From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, 12 M., Aug. 4, 1864 

I FIND it necessary for me to go to Washington for a day or 
two to give directions to affairs there. In my absence remain 
on the defensive, notifying Maj. Genl. Meade that if attacked 
he is authorized to call on such of your troops as are south of 
the Appomattox. Only expecting to be absent three (3) days, 

I will not relinquish command. TT ^ 

IT. S. GRANT, Lt. Genl. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, 12.30 P.M. Aug. 4<A, 1864 

I AM compelled to send a second division of cavy. to Washn. 
This will leave the cavalry force too weak to protect the flank 
of the enemy without the assistance of Kautz. Please order 
Kautz to report accordingly. Only intending to be absent 
for a few days, I leave my Adjt. Genl. at post of Hd. Qrs., but 
being senior, you necessarily would command in any emergency. 
Please communicate with me by telegraph if anything occurs 

when you wish my orders. TT ^ T , n 7 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Genl. 

From General Butler 

August th, 1864 

BRIG. GEN. KAUTZ will remain, reporting to Gen. Meade with 
his mounted command until further orders. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

TELEGRAM. CITY POINT, Aug. 4, 1864 

I THINK it will be advisable to have all the surplus pontoon 
material in the hands of Gen. Benham. When any lodging is 



4 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

required he can be called on for it, &, having it together, it can 
be kept in quantity sufficient for any emergency. Divided, 
neither your Engs. nor Gen. Benham will have enough to 
throw a bridge over the James or Appomattox. I do not order 
this, if you see any good reason for keeping it as it is. 

IT. S. GRANT, Li. Genl. 

From E. S. Parker to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 4, 1864 
GEN. GRANT left about an hour ago. 

E. S. PARKER, A. A. C. 

From J. K. Herbert to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 4th, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: My friend, Gov. Ford, this day showed 
me the letter you sent by his hand to the President relating to 
myself, and also repeated to me a few of the many kind things 
you saw fit to say of me in your interview with him. I had 
rather have that letter than the promotion (without it), which 
I think morally certain to follow its presentment. For the 
too kind letter, and also for the kind words, I assure you I am 
sincerely grateful. 

Three years ago I had not the honor of your personal ac 
quaintance I knew only what history had of you, and that 
but imperfectly when you were Breckenridge s candidate 
for Gov. Mass. We differed as widely politically as men dif 
fered at all at that day. But when the "Long Roll" was 
beaten we both "fell in" on the same side, and it has come to be 
almost a by- word with me that "the only man whose treatment 
of Rebels and Rebellion suits me is Major Gen l. Butler." 

Because you hated and hung rebels I was for you before I 
ever saw you, and have in my way and with more or less suc 
cess sought to have any dissenting ones in my limited circle 
won to your faith and to your support. This thing I did in 
execution of my judgment that your course was right, and for 
no hope or expectation of reward further than the consciousness 
of having done my duty. 

My gratitude, therefore, is in no manner abated by an offset 
on account of services rendered, and I only beg to remain, 

Your most faithful and obedient servant, J. K. HERBERT 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 5 

From General Martindale to General Butler 

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, Aug. 5th, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: I have now been home one week. By dint 
of absolute rest, recumbent posture, medical attendance, I am 
feeling pretty well, but I am now persuaded that my departure 
from the army was an absolute necessity. I could not go back 
to you with any safety at present. I have sent my resignation 
directly to Col. Hammond, but fearing that it may be objected 
to as not coming through the regular channels, I send a dupli 
cate to you. It is not necessary to send through General 
Ord, for I was assigned to the temporary command of the 18th 
Corps, and I am not aware of any order returning me to the 
command of the 2nd division of that Corps. 

Please forward the resignation approved. I enclose to you 
a copy of a letter which I have sent to the Secretary of War. 

You will see that I prepared an alternative, viz, an extension 
of my leave to the 15th of Sept. I have been induced to do this 
by the solicitations of loyal citizens here. There is very great 
discouragement over the North, great reluctance to recruiting, 
strong disposition for peace, and even among republicans of 
long standing [an] inclination for a change of rulers. The demo 
cratic papers in this city, in noticing my return and resignation, 
stated that it was said to be placed on the ground of ill-health, 
but imputed it in fact to the well-founded disgust of a "good 
soldier" in the blundering administration of affairs. 

Now, I don t wish that any influence that I may have should 
be excited to increase or confirm the present popular discour 
agement, and I have yielded to the suggestion made to me to 
have my leave of absence extended if the Sec. should deem it 
advisable to do so. 

If there shall occur any delay in disposing of my case, do me 
the friendly act to extend my leave of absence, say 20 days, to 
cover contingencies. Please do this at all events. 

The certificate enclosed will, I suppose, justify this exten 
sion. I wish to hear from you. I am greatly disturbed by the 
failure of that mining operation at Petersburg. 

The plan of an attack on Walthal Junction was a better one. 
What says Weitzel? The fact is, the only gain which has been 
accomplished and held in the campaign of the Eastern armies 
this season, is the foothold which you seized by your audacious 
enterprise up the James River in May, and gained, too, without 
the loss of a man. 



6 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Write to me. I recall my acquaintance with you with 
pleasure, and shall always hope and expect to be esteemed as, 
Truly your friend, J. H. MARTINDALE 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the Field, August 5, 1864 

MY DEAR SARAH: I am beginning to be alarmed about you. 
True, B untie writes that you are "too busy to write me this 
morning," but what am I to think? I will give you some news. 
Grant has gone to Washington, and that leaves me in command 
of the army, which command he has turned over to me. We 
are to lie still for a week, but I question whether the rebels will 
let us. Meade has asked a court of inquiry upon Burnside 
and into the Petersburg affair, and they are all by the ears 
together over there. 

You see, I shall have a right to go down as soon as Grant 
gets back. I propose to do something while he is gone to keep 
the blood circulating. I rode your horse yesterday, and found 
him very easy and well-broken a little hard on the bit with 
a snuffle rein, but not too much for you who would bear on the 
bit with the curb. He is easily enough controlled. I will send 
him down or bring him myself as soon as possible. 

What are we to have next down at the Fort? You can make 
that encampment a little more endurable by a little attention 
which perhaps you will find it easy to give. 

Now, love, get well and strong, and we will be out riding 
together in a few days. ^ ^^ BENJ p 



From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. in the Field, Aug. 5th, 1864, 9 A.M. 

Lt. General GRANT, WASHINGTON, D. C. 

I SENT Graham up and burnt Seddon s house in retaliation 
for burning the house of Mr. Blair. He went within a mile 
and a half of Fredericksburgh and saw no enemy. All quiet. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to Montgomery Blair 

Head Qrs. in the Field, August 5th, 1864 

I SENT Gen. Graham with the army gunboats and burnt 
Seddon s house near Fredericksburgh, in retaliation for the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 7 

burning of yours. That house has been in our hands several 

times and has been spared. ^ -^ T 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 

From H. A. Risley to General Butler 

Commercial Intercourse with and in States Declared in Insurrection, 
Second Agency, Treasury Department, Wash. D. C., Aug. 6th, 



GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of 
regulation of this Department, concerning commercial inter 
course and other matters in the insurrectionary states, and 
all the laws, including the last approved July 2nd, 1864, with 
passages marked by red pencil to which I call your attention. 

By regulation IV, I am directed to ascertain from published 
order the lines of actual military occupation by U. S. Navy and 
[Army], to agree with you in writing as to places within those 
lines where supplies may be taken and the aggregate amount 
per month that may be taken to each of such places. Section 
9 of the Act of July 2nd (see page 75) required this to be done. 

The law assumes that Generals commanding Departments 
or Districts will make and publish an order indicating the lines 
of actual occupation by LT. S. forces. May I ask that you will 
at your convenience make and publish such an order, and 
furnish me several copies. 

On reading the law again, I perceive that the General com 
manding the Department is to agree upon the places for sup 
plies to be sold, and the monthly amount. "Or district" was 
left off probably through carelessness. I suppose everything 
in your vicinity will be under your control, but it now appears 
to me that Gen. Butler must by the law be a party to the agree 
ment. Please look at this and think it over, and be prepared 
to arrange the matter definitely when I get down about the 
15th instant. I do not suppose you will be home much before, 
I shall leave the matter pretty much to your judgment and 
better acquaintance with the requirement of the country. 

You will observe that the several counties in North Carolina 
between Albemarle Sound and Chowan River are in the agency 
under my supervision. 

Respectfully your obdt. Servant, 
H. A. RISLEY, Sup. Spec. Agent, 7th Agency 



8 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 



From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the Field, August 6, 1864 

MY DEAR WIFE: Another week has rolled round without 
notice one day so like another. Mail came in last night. 
There was no letter again the envelopes were all ransacked 
but still no letter, and sad, sad disappointment. Half hour 
after, another envelope came, official size, marked "A letter 
from Mrs. Butler." It was seized eagerly torn open 
letter found, read and then I wished the last envelope 
hadn t come. > BENJ R 



From J. K. Herbert to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, D. C., Aug. 6, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: The Davis Protest has come. You 
have no doubt seen it. At least you will get it to-night. 

The Gov. & I were at the State Dept. to-day and heard it 
talked of. No such bomb has been thrown into Washington 
before. 

Seward read it to Lincoln last night. All we can hear so 
far is that Mr. L. said, "I would like to know whether these 
men intend openly to oppose my election, the document 
looks that way." 

We went over to the White H. to see Mr. L. on my matter - 
stopped a moment in the East Room for consultation, & Bill 
Kellogg of 111. came in. We hailed him, & almost immediately 
Mont. Blair came in. Kellogg hailed him. They began to 
talk at once of the Protest, Blair most violently. A remark 
reached our ears he looking fairly in our faces across the 
hall literally, I think, thus "we have Lee & his on one 
side, and Henry Winter Davis & Ben. Wade and all such Hell 
cats on the other," &c., &c. 

The violent declamation of the P.M.G., which seemed to be 
fully endorsed & appreciated by K., was soon stopped by some 
one coming along to go up stairs where they were standing. 
K. subsequently joined us, & was very bitter in his denuncia 
tion of Wade for his letter "after receiving as much as he had 
from the Administration and the Govt." He said many things 
but few worth repeating here. 

Webster, Chief CPk. State D., said the whole thing meant 
that "in order to save the country you must make Old 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 9 

Ben Butler President!" That was the Protest reduced to a 
sentence. 

The trepidation of the White House is worse to-day than 
ever it was when poor Old Jim B. sat up there & trembled. 
Old Ben s stars are beginning to show themselves. But it 
seems they changed the design as to signatures. 

The Gov. asks me to enclose for your approval an applica 
tion that will explain itself, & which you will find herewith. 

Mr. Penny packer is on his way with his bakery supplies. 
He is a friend of yours of the right stamp he is also a friend 
of mine. He wants to start an eating-house in connection 
with his bakery. For anything I know he is the very best man 
for that duty there. If he makes an application, I will be 
glad if you grant him the privilege. 

We deemed it worse than useless to see Mr. L. to-day on my 
matter, & so came away without trying. Seward sent for 
Ford to talk with him about the Protest, but he did not go in 
yet because he, F., had not read it. He & I have just now read 
it carefully Ford thinks it one of the greatest documents 
of the age. 

I will keep my eye and ear on this scare, and if I get any good 
notes I ll send by first mail. 

I am afraid my cake is dough for some days. No use to 
talk to L. when he is so angry. 

Yours faithfully, J. K. HERBERT 

From J . K. Herbert to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, D. C., Aug. 6, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Yesterday Gov. Ford and myself were 
passing through the Treasury Dept., and we met Thurlow 
Weed. He was in such haste that he could not stop to talk 
with Ford, and so the Gov. walked with him. Weed said, 
"Lincoln is gone, I suppose you know as well as I. And unless 
a hundred thousand men are raised sooner than the draft, the 
country s gone too. I must go home now. I m dragged 
about so here that I can t talk to you, but you can come up to 
my place, and there I will give you my views but Lincoln 
is gone now." 

Now, Ford is a friend and co-worker of Weed s for twenty- 
five years. He has done things for Weed that he knows he 
could not do for himself. I wanted the Gov. to go in time for 
the result of his visit to reach Chicago before the Convention. 



10 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

He wants to go on some accounts thinks something might 
come of it worth while especially coupled with his recollec 
tion of what Seward and Dawson have said of you. My recol 
lection is that I wrote those things to Col. Shaffer. 

They Weed, S., & D. are against L. certainly, and why can 
they not be dealt with successfully? I think the Gov. can do it. 
At least I think he is discreet enough to be allowed to try. He 
said he could hardly just now afford the expense of such a trip 
as he would like to carry it on. I said to him I would see that 
he was taken care of all right, if it was thought best for him to 
go, and resolved to write you privately by the first mail, for 
your advice. Now you can write him & send by mail or a mes 
senger, or you can telegraph him or me to come and see you for 
instructions, & your will will be most expeditiously executed. 

I ought to say, however, that the Gov. will not receive any 
funds from you for any such service. He will be delighted to do 
anything he can if it be your pleasure to have him try. 316 F. 
St. will reach us both. Yows faithfully , j. K . HERBERT 

From General Butler to Colonel Dimon 

August Gth, 1864 

I HAVE sent you a commission in order to show that I appre 
ciate your soldiery qualities, and that I am kindly disposed. 
There are and have been grave charges against your personal 
habits. If I did not believe that you both could and would 
alter them, I should not have sent the Commission. Pray do 
not attempt to deny the habit of drinking to excess, and ab 
sence from Quarters to late hours of the night. These are not 
recommendations, and must now cease. A Colonel cannot 
afford to do so. Officers should not suppose that they are out 
from under my eye when I happen to be away. It is not so. 
Now, your officers are getting into bad habits, one was 
arrested in a drinking-house asleep, and it was reported to me. 
Three others, for one of whom you have asked promotion, have 
been arrested for drunkenness. Many are getting so that their 
Col. will be ashamed of them, and he cannot control them, and 
why, they may accuse him of the same offence. I have written 
this letter as the kind friend. Be sure and not give further 
occasion either for caution or action. The last will come if it is 
needed. I reward good service and punish for bad, with equal 
facility. Remember the words of a friend. 

Truly Yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 11 

From General Butler to Colonel Saunders 

UNOFFICIAL. Aug. 6th, 1864 

I HAVE assigned you to duty in Norfolk as Provost Marshal 
because I have confidence in your judgment, integrity, and 
personal habits to correct abuses which exist there. The great 
vices of the officers are (gaining) and drinking, neither of which 
can be interfered with of course unless they interfere with 
duties or are open and public. Officers seen riding in the streets 
with notorious women will be arrested at once, whatever their 
rank may be. Drunkards in public will be at once arrested, 
no matter what are the staggering insignia of office. I will 
support and sustain you, rest assured. 

I doubt not you have a kind heart, but in dealing with 
offenders it is the worst quality a man can have. Another 
matter which is suffered to go unchecked is brawling and talk 
ing in the public places against the Government and officers, 
- that is not for militia in a garrison. There is no freedom of 
speech there, whatever there may be elsewhere. 

There is hardly a person w r ho has a permit to sell liquor who 
does not violate it. Get the General Order and make the re 
tailers live up to it, specially inn-holders and restaurants. 

Yours Truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

August 6, 1864, 8.30 A.M. 

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

AT 6.30 P.M. yesterday the enemy sprang a small mine in 
front of the eighteenth Corps near Petersburg, about 40 yards 
in front of our works. They did not make an assault, a fresh 
artillery fire was opened along the whole of our line. The cas 
ualties small. I regret to say that Col. Stedman, llth Conn., 
is dangerously wounded. I beg leave to renew my application 
that he receive promotion for gallant and meritorious services. 
Our lines are intact, and all is quiet in front of Petersburg. The 
enemy opened upon us from the Howlett House Battery. No 

loss BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Head Quarters, Aug. 6, 9.30 P.M. 

ALL has been quiet today. Regular shelling is going on 
before Petersburg. At noon, a thousand cavalry & 80 wagons 



12 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

passed Junction toward Richmond. Richmond papers of this 
morning no news, save that a landing has been made on Dau 
phin s Island near Mobile, and an attack begun on Fort 
Gaines Aug. 3rd. Macon Confederate, late Atlanta paper, 
says, The country will be glad to learn that our Army has been 
reenforced by many thousand veteran troops, that all thought 
of giving up Atlanta has vanished. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. 



From General Rufus Ingalls 

Office of Chief Quartermaster, Armies operating against Richmond, Va., 

camp at CITY POINT, August 7th, 1864 

Colonel J. W. SHAFFER, Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. BUTLER, 
Head Qrs. Department of Va. & North Carolina, 
BERMUDA HUNDRED 

COLONEL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a 
letter from Maj. Gen l. Butler of the 6th, in reply to one I had 
addressed to the Provost Marshal General of the "Armies 
operating against Richmond" on the subject of the arrest of 
the steward of the steamer "Key Port." 

I should abstain from further correspondence on this subject, 
as it was one simply of reference to the proper authority for 
investigation, had not Maj. Gen l. Butler misapprehended the 
intentions and meaning of my letter. 

Having a desire not to be misunderstood, I beg the General 
will excuse me for saying, first that I know nothing personally 
of the steward, nor whether he was guilty of offensive conduct 
on the boat or not. I simply remarked that he "has been 
represented to me as a very gentlemanly and inoffensive young 
man," such representations were made to me. Second, I 
made no such remark as "there is power enough in the Qr. 
M r s. Department to punish him." I said, "there is power 
enough here" to arrest persons in the transport service of the 
Quarter Master s Department. 

I meant that here, at the Head Qrs. of the Lieut. Genl. 
Comd g. the Armies, and where his Provost Marshal General 
has an office, that there is power enough here, as well as at 
Bermuda: of course, I adhere still to that opinion. 

Third, I said nothing about the "disgrace of working along 
side of negroes." I have no affectations on this point, and can 
not be misunderstood. I had as lief he had worked with negroes 
as white men, if found guilty. I was merely stating a fact. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 13 

I said "his being subjected to such indignities as are reported, 
without there being a proper cause for it, and without trial, is 
decidedly uncalled for." Since the receipt of Gen l. Butler s 
letter I am led to think he deserved summary treatment. 

I had no idea that Gen l. Butler proposed to examine the 
matter in person. I assumed the case would come before the 
Provost Marshal General of the Armies. 

I shall refer the matter to the Lieut. General in order that 
this point, as well as that of limits and jurisdiction of the 
Department of Va. & N. C., may be determined. I am Very 
Respectfully, YQUT Qbedt Sermnt ^ RUFUS I NGALLS> 

Brig. Genl. & Chief Qr. Mr. Armies operating against 

Richmond, Va. 

From Colonel Shaffer 

Head Quarters, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, in the Field, 

Va., Aug. 9th, 1864 
[Not in chronological order] 

To Brig. Genl. INGALLS, Chief Quarter Master, Armies operating 
against Richmond 

GENERAL: I am instructed by Major Gen l. Butler, to whom 
I have referred your letter in relation to the arrest of the steward 
of the steamer "Keyport," to say that there can no question of 
jurisdiction arise in the case as the steward was arrested by 
order of Brig. Genl. Patrick upon application to him, and sent 
to me for investigation, and he was directed to be sent to Gen l. 
Butler because it was an offence against one of his officers, 
for which he is not likely to turn over that officer for a remedy 
to any other jurisdiction so long as he has power to redress it 
himself. 

General Butler would regret any question of jurisdiction in 
the Dept. of Va. & N. C. between himself and any other officer, 
certainly as between himself and General Ingalls, should be 
raised, and will do all in his power to avoid it but if such 
question is raised, he will endeavor to meet it in such a form 
as shall be conducive to the public service and in vindication 
of all the powers and authority entrusted to him. I have the 
honor to be, Very Respectfully, 

Your obdt. Servant, J. W. S. Col. & Chief of Staff 



14 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Aug. 7th, 10 A.M. 1864 

G. V. Fox, Asst. Sec. of the Navy 

THE Richmond Examiner of the sixth has: "From Mobile, 
Aug. 4th. Yesterday and last evening, the enemy threw an 
infantry force upon Dauphin Island, seven miles from Fort 
Gaines. The fleet outside is large. This morning the Fed. 
double-ender opened on the transport Dick Keys/ and then 
on the fort, which is slowly replying. Gen. Maury calls on all 
to enroll themselves for battle. Great confidence prevails. 
A Federal force estimated at sixteen thousand occupied Holly 
Springs, Miss." 

No other news. -D T> -D n* n i n j> 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Aug. 7th, 1864 

Messrs. SAWYER BROTHERS, Ordnance Makers, FITCHBURG, 

MASS. 

How soon can you rifle a gun 582? Should be of the Dahl- 
gren pattern, to stand shock. Experimental gun has burst 
after doing splendid shooting. Time is all important. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., Aug. 7th, 64, 6.40 P.M. 

Maj. RAUDLETT, 3rd N. H. Vol., Pro. Mar. 10 A. C., 

atHd.Qrs. 10 A. C. 

I HAVE received a deserter today who says he gave you a 
Rebel newspaper. Why was the paper not forwarded with the 
prisoner? I have ordered this to be an invariable order. 
This order will never be repeated. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs., Aug. 7th. 1864, 10.30 P.M. 

Lt. Gen. GRANT, or in his absence Secretary of War 

ALL quiet in the lines of our Armies since last advices. 
Enemy moved to Richmond 10 passenger and 2 freight cars 
filled with troops. They did not cross at Drury s Bluff, did not 
stop in front of us, or they would not have been put on cars. 
14 wagons and a drove of beeves crossed this eve at Chaffin s 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 15 

Bluff. Kershaw s Division is in my front, between the Appo- 
mattox and James. From the accounts in Rebel papers to 
Aug. 4th, I do not credit Herald s report of Farragut s success. 
Would it were true! 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the Field, Aug. 7th, 1864 

MY DEAREST SARAH: I got your welcome little letter last 
night by due course of the mail. Your reading my letter to 
Weitzel gave him needless alarm. I shall try nothing that is 
not feasible, and perhaps nothing at all. The rebels made a 
little attack on us last night, but were very easily driven back. 

Greene is up here. I have sent for him to caution him 
about his habits. We have had a curious little episode here. 
One of our soldiers stayed behind and stopped near President 
Tyler s house. Has married Miss Annie Tyler, niece of John 
Tyler, who writes me that she hopes I shall not punish her 
husband for being absent without leave. Mrs. President Tyler 
has been writing me continually about the health of this young 
lady. I have told her of the occurrence, and that she need 
have no more fears for her health. I have seen the groom - 
he is a fine looking soldier by the name of Kicks. I am going 
to let him have a furlough to spend the honeymoon, but, 
poor girl, I fear that upon $13 per month she is likely to have 
more "Kicks than Coppers." 

You see I cannot come down to you. Why keep writing for 
me to do so? It is certain that I will do so as soon as I can. 
You must but believe I would wish to come. 

Thank Blanche for her scapular for me. I have it on. 

My good wife, try and not be unquiet and trouble yourself. 
You need have no fears for the future any more than ought to 

believe in the worst for the past. v T? 

Yours, BENJ. 

From Mrs. (Ex-Pres.) Tyler to General Butler 

CASTLETON HILL, STATEN ISLAND, Aug. 15th, 1864 
[Not in chronological order] 

SIR : I have been in the receipt of such mournful intelligence 
from my home on the James River, which represents my prop 
erty there to have been subjected to wreck and ruin, that I 
have concluded to spare my sensibilities and not to avail my- 



16 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

self, at least for the present, of the privilege you afford me to 
visit the scene; but will you do me the favor to furnish with a 
pass my maid-servant, a free girl of color, whom I brought with 
me to this place last winter, and who is anxious to return to her 
family in Charles City Co., near Wilson s Wharf. I would 
wish the "pass" to permit her to return to me after seeing her 
friends, if she should desire to do so. She is a young and well- 
behaved girl and before I could permit her to leave my pro 
tection I ask to be assured that on reaching camp at Wilson s 
Wharf she will be safely guarded to her home, near by. 

I have another request to make, which I hope will meet with 
your favor. It is that my manager, Mr. J. C. Tyler, who has 
been released from imprisonment at Old Point, and has re 
turned to my place, be permitted to take it again in his charge. 
It was placed by Gen l. Wild, I am informed, under the control 
of some of my negroes, with directions that they should give up 
nothing to any one consequently my manager finds himself 
denied the authority which I had placed in his hands, and which 
I hope you will be willing to direct through the commanding 
officer at Wilson s Wharf shall be restored to him. He is 
staying at Mr. W. H. Clopton s the adjoining plantation. 

I had the honor to receive your letter informing me of the 
marriage of the lady, a relative of my husband s family, to 
whom I had gladly for several years afforded a home and pro 
tection. The sudden and most unexpected change in her cir 
cumstances, and the horrors that surrounded her, of which you 
are perhaps cognizant as well as myself, has no doubt driven 
her to desperation, and into the commission of an act which I 
fear will not much better her condition. I judged from the 
character of her last letter she was bordering on insanity 
the terrible scenes she depicted had evidently banished reason 
from its throne otherwise I think she would have braved 
the starvation which, by her account, stared her in the face, or 
met death in any other form rather than have taken the step 
of which you inform me. 

Allow me to urge that the requests I have made in this letter, 
especially the one in regard to the withdrawal of my property 
from the hands of my negroes, will meet your early atten 
tion and receive the assurance that I am, very respectfully 

yours, J ULIA GARDINER TYLER, MRS. (Ex. PREST.) TYLER 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 17 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

TELEGRAPH from BUTLER S, Aug. 7, 1864 

Go at once. Telegraph to New York to take McCormick 
with you. Perhaps Gen. Weitzel and Martin would go. The 
reasons Gen. M. names for not going in his letter to me do not 

exist. All shall be well here. T> T^ T> 

B. F. BUTLER 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, August 7th, 64 

DEAREST: We leave tonight. Everything is in confusion. 
Do not ask any parties to occupy the house while I am gone. 
My things are scattered all about. I shall return soon unless 
Harriet s case 1 is desperate. I feel shocked to death. I am 
very unwilling to leave for more reasons than I have time to 
state. 

To you it looks a trifle to make the journey. To me, very 
much. Write to me as you have done, as I will to you. 

Yours most affectionately, SARAH 

Mr. Webster will stay here till I return. You do not know 
how I dislike to leave without seeing you, for other reasons 
than those in the letter you did not like. There is a fatality 
about these things. : There is a divinity that shapes our 
ends, rough-hew them as we may!" Once more, 

Truli/ yours, SARAH 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Monday, Aug. 8th, 1864 

MY DEAREST BEST W iFE: Your kind little letter came last 
night, so sprightly and lovely, so sweet and cooing, it would 
have made me very cheerful if it had not been for the telegram 
of the morning about Harriet. Of course, I could say and you 
could do nothing but one thing, and that was go at once. 
But how sad! I feel so lonely, you away, when at the Fort 
there was this hope, well, perhaps I can run down today, to 
morrow, or as soon as Grant comes back; but now you seem a 
legion of miles away. How little you thought when you were 
writing me about the cool shelter of home and the children, 
how soon you were to see them, and I cannot. Ah me this 



1 Mrs. Harriet Heard, Mrs. Butler s sister, was reported dying of an incurable dis 
ease. 

VOL. v 2 



18 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

is a sad, sad life of mine. The bright hopes for the country, 
the enthusiasm for a just cause, the hopes of a patriot in the 
future, all dying out slowly, and surely a sinking at heart. 
Nothing has changed here. Grant has not returned. You 
are gone lonely and sad, and upon such an errand too! 
What can it be? 

Goodbye, dearest, goodbye. I am too sad to write more, my 

dearlove Your HUSBAND 

From General Butler 

Hdqrs. Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, in the Field, Va., August 8, 1864 

Hon. ROBERT OULD, Commissioner for Exchange 

SIR: I have the honor to forward the inclosed copies of cer 
tain papers relating to the treatment of officers captured on the 
expedition of General Kilpatrick. 

From the circumstances here narrated, I am led to say that 
I will make special exchange of all those officers, giving you such 
officers as you may desire of equal rank. I also have the honor 
further to inform you that unless I receive from the officers 
statements that they are now well and properly treated as 
prisoners of war, I shall be under the necessity of putting in 
confinement an equal number of officers by us in like condition 
and treatment as described in inclosed paper. As you are 
aware, I have never desired nor favored retaliation except upon 
belief that nothing else would answer to preserve the lives and 
health of our soldiers, and much as I regret the painful neces 
sity, I certainly shall be obliged to carry out my intentions. 
I have the honor to be. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, BENJ. F. BUTLER, 
Major-General and Commissioner for Exchange 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 7, p. 566. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Aug. 8th, 1864 

Brig.-Gen. INGALLS, Chief Qr. Master &c. 

IN the change of depots at Bermuda Landing I beg leave to 
call your attention to the two wharves there, the ordnance and 
Qr. Master s, and ask that they be not disturbed; these are the 
only wharves from which heavy artillery can be embarked or 
disembarked on the peninsula, if we choose to withdraw or add 

to ll Yours Truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 19 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Aug. 8th, 1864, 2.30 P.M. 

Capt. G. V. Fox, As st. Secretary of Navy 

RICHMOND papers this morning say that Farragut s fleet, 
seventeen vessels, passed Fort Morgan on the 5th instant. 
Ram "Tennessee" was sunk, Admiral Buchanan captured, 
enemy s fleet is approaching the city. Please duplicate to 
Sec. of War and Gen. Grant. 



From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Dept. of Va. & N. Carolina, in the Field, Aug. 8th, 1864 

C. A. DANA Esq. Asst. Secy, of War 

REFERRING you to my report in regard to the armed 
Flotilla of this Department, to which I wish to call your atten 
tion as a part of this note, I beg leave to ask that you will get 
for us two more light-draft boats. 

Mr. Norman Wiard, of New York, I am informed, has two 
now ready of the pattern of the Foster," "Burnside," "Reno," 
and "Parke. " These carry 500 men with three-feet draft. 
The workmanship of these boats was not quite satisfactory, 
but I believe Mr. Wiard has made the last better, avoiding 
errors pointed out by experience. Certain it is that upon 
ascertaining defects in the "Foster," even after the boats had 
been accepted and paid for by the Government, Mr. Wiard 
altered the "Foster" at his own expense, to a large amount, 
as he said, to vindicate his own reputation as a mechanic, and 
she is now in good order running with us. 

If Mr. Wiard s boats are in condition for service, I wish they 
might be sent here as soon as possible, as we shall need them 
for an expedition which is to be sent out under the direction 
of the Lieutenant General Commanding. 

I was much prejudiced against this class of boats originally, 
but their service has shown their utility. Respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, (BENJ. F. BUTLER) 

From W. P. Webster to General Butler 

Office of Provost Judge, Dept. of Va. and N. Car. 
NORFOLK, VA., Aug. 8th, 1864 

DEAR GEN L. : I received yours of to-day, and will mark the 
suggestions. I wish that I had known your wishes earlier, 
although I fear that you have in your mind particular cases. 



20 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

The Regime does not report one fourth of my cases. For a 
fortnight and more it reported none. It has no local reporter. 

I first filled the Prison so that the Medical director made 
complaint, and Capt. Sawtelle said that he had neither room 
or work for more. I have fined men to the extent of their 
ability to pay, as I supposed. I have taken all they had. I 
have had very few cases of selling liquor to enlisted men, but 
many cases of drunkenness among employees on board of 
transports, where the men must be returned to the ship at once 
for service. Also abandoned females, but not the men. They 
are not reported. Worthless negroes to be sent to Crany 
Island. I do not get hold of the gamblers and drinking 
officers, or the rowdy idlers and swindlers. I have a great 
many civil cases. I hope a new Provost Marshal will not be 
patron of bars or other public places. I have not seen any 
man I think so fit as Capt. Thornton. Perhaps his name 
occurred to you. 

Restaurants sell by glass at their bars. The liquor sales 
constitute the business and profit, and the restaurant is the 
cover. The last is no object. 

You have made some desirable removals. Norfolk does not 
seem to have a head, to perform the duties of a Mayor. I 
suppose Gen l. Shepley should do them. The Provost Marshal 
seems to be the public man. I think the whole mechanical 
operations of the Government need more systematizing than 
they have ever received. Please communicate freely to me. 
Yours Truly, W. P. WEBSTER, Prov. Judge 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

St. Nicholas Hotel, Aug. Sth, 64 

DEAREST: We arrived here this evening, covered with dust 
and very tired. Bennett has gone to look for Dr. McCormick. 
Is it really a matter of any account to you if I write these letters 
or not? I fly home to comfort Harriet, and to me it seems that 
I have not the sustaining power within me to give consolation 
to another. Yet they all look to me for it. Tell me, do you 
think I can give to others what I so much need myself? Am 
I in that way of any use to you? If I can give comfort or 
happiness to a single human creature I must be satisfied and 
thankful. I ask so much from others, I so long for sympathy 
and kindness when I feel so tired, and weary, weary, weary as 
I do tonight. Blanche has had her bath and gone to bed. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 21 

Tomorrow I shall use the time in shopping for her. Poor 
child, she has really no wardrobe at all. I have not much 
time, for I do not like to stay but one day. What are you 
doing, dearest? Busy and content? There lies the secret of 
happiness if the work be suited to the person. I can write no 
more tonight, love, my eyelids drop down with weariness, and 
there is much to do tomorrow. Will there be a letter for me 
when I get home? I hope so, for there will be a trouble to 
meet. The waiters are glad to see me. They ask if you are 

well. T7 

Yours very truly, SARAH 

From Edward W. Kinsley to General Butler 

37 Franklin Street, BOSTON, August 9th, 1864 

MY DEAR SIR : Allow me to thank you for the course you have 
pursued in relation to the arrest and discharge of my friend 
Brig. Gen. E. A. Wild. It is just like you. And allow me 
to say that I w r ish we had a hundred Generals as honest, patri 
otic, able and just as you. And I assure you that these senti 
ments are held by thousands of men who are better than I, 
and who look up to you as one of the few men who will do their 
duty under all circumstances. 

I enclose a slip from the Boston Commonwealth. Excuse my 
presumption in thus addressing you. 

I am, faithfully yours, EDWARD W. KINSLEY 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

FORT MONROE, Aug. 9th, 1864 

MY DEAR DEAR W T IFE: Not a word, and you going away. 
I was sad at not receiving a note. You will understand how 
lonely I feel, you all away. When at the Fort it seems I could 
see you at any time, but now it seems as if I am all alone. 
Grant has returned. I have not yet seen him. No movement 
has been made here. 

Glorious, simple-hearted, brave old Farragut has again most 
nobly done his duty at Mobile, running past the forts and sink 
ing the enemy s fleet. I long to hear the particulars. 

You will now see the boys how they are getting on. 
Write me a long letter. 



22 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Grant 

CITY POINT, Aug. 9, 1864 

Gen. BUTLER, etc., Corps Hd. Qrs. 

THE following despatch is respectfully transmitted for your 

information. ^ 7 / T /-. ^ 

By order of LT. GEN. GRANT 

T. S. BOWERS A. A. G. 

Near ATLANTA, 7th, 8 P.M. 

WE keep hammering away here all the time, & there is no 
place inside or outside of Atlanta. Today Schofield got round 
the flank of the line assaulted yesterday by Gen. Kelly s brigade, 
turned it & gained the ground where the assault was with all 
our dead and wounded, we continued to press on that flank 
and brought on a noisy but not a bloody engagement. 

We drove the enemy behind his main breastworks which 
cover the railroad from Atlanta to East Point. We captured a 
good many of the skirmishers, which are of their best troops, for 
the militia hugs the breastworks close. I do not deem it 
prudent to extend more to the right, but will push forward 
daily by parallels & make the inside of Atlanta too hot to be 
endured. I have sent to Chattanooga for two thirty-pounder 
Parrotts, with which we can pick out almost any house in town. 

I am too impatient for a siege, but I don t know but here is 
as good a place to fight it out as further inland. One thing is 
certain, whether we go inside of Atlanta or not, it will be a 
used-up community by the time we are done with it. 

W. T. SHERMAN, Maj. Genl. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, 11.50 Aug. 9, 1864 

AN ordnance boat blew up at the wharf a few moments ago, 
sending shot, shell, & splinters all over the point; the damage 
to life and property must be great. Outside of my own yard, 
however, I have not yet learned. 

Col. Babcock was wounded in the hand, & an orderly killed 
& three or four wounded, several horses were also killed. On 
the wharf & on other parts of the point the losses must be heavy. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Genl. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 23 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 9, 1864 

How does your information place Longstreet s Corps & 
Wilcox s Div. of Hill Corps? I have the statement of de 
serters coming in at Petersburg, & wish to compare. I will 

be over to see you this P.M. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Genl 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C. t in the Field, Aug. 9, 64, 11.30 A.M. 

Lieut. Gen. GRANT, Comd g. Armies of the U. S., CITY POINT 
DESERTERS place Longstreet s Corps as follows; Pickett s 
Division in our front between the Appomattox and the James. 
Field s Division is before Foster at Deep Bottom, and Mahone 
on the extreme left in front of Gen. Meade. Wilcox s Division 
has Scales and Thomas Brigades between Pickett s Division 
and the Appomattox, Thomas on the north, and Scales on 
the south of Swift Creek. 

Lane and Conner are before Foster at Deep Bottom. We had 
had deserters from all these except Mahone s Division, yester 
day. Three last night about ten o clock, from Scales and 
Thomas. They report Kershaw s Division or reserve in rear 
of Pickett s. I was about saddling my horse to visit you. I 
have the boat waiting. Which shall it be! 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 9, 1864 

As you are all prepared come & see me. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Genl. 

From General Butler 

Aug. 10, 6 A.M. 

Gen. MEADE, Commanding, &c. 

THE telegraph line near Swan s Point has been cut by a 
party of the enemy. I have sent a hundred and fifty infantry 
down to Fort Powhatan to drive them away, but Col. Innis in 
command of the fort reports them in too great force. Would 
you therefore order Kautz to send a regiment of cavalry or 
more to aid the gunboat force at Powhatan in driving these 
fellows away. Respectfully, B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 



24 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the Field, Aug. IQth, 1864, 6 A.M. 

MY DEAREST LOVE: What are you doing now? I know you 
have just waked up in a nice room, beautifully frescoed with 
walls having on them pretty paintings, all rosy from the tint of 
the walls; a fresh breeze blowing in the open window from the 
river over the lawn; the first sound is the merry voices of the 
children either just at play or just getting up. Do you won 
der I am homesick, lonely, at the different picture which I see 
here, and you can so well picture to yourself. 

We still go on here as before. Weitzel has gone for 15 days 
to Cincinnati. I believed we were to have some movement, 
but that just died out. I am almost inclined to ask for a leave 
and go home, but then I am so distressingly well that that is 
nearly impossible. I have got no letter yet. Have seen your 
arrival in New York, so believe you safe at home. 

Tell the boys they must not forget me. Blanche I know will 
not. Mr. Owen has my respects. I feel very sad for Harriet 
- she was always a favorite of mine. I hope, however, the 
operation will give relief. 

My dear wife, when you were here I grieved you. I am so 
sorry now. I was then, but could not control myself for the 
moment. I gave you useless pain forgive me. I can see 
your sorrowful face in pity not in anger looking at me now. 

I believe all the unpleasant things of my life are floating 
through my memory now, and making up bitter draughts of 
thought. Goodbye, dearest, goodbye, I can t write any more. 

BENJ. 
From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C. Aug. 10th, 1864, 10.35 A.M. 

Lieut. Gen. IT. S. GRANT, Comd g., &c., CITY POINT 

IF you see no objection, I will take up the pontoon bridge 
at Broadway Landing and turn over the material to Brig. Genl. 
Benham. 



From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 10, 1864 

You may take up the bridge at B way Landing & turn over 
the material to Brig. Gen. Benham, or if you prefer I will order 

Gen. Benham to take it up. TT c n T . 7 

U. S. GRANT, Li. Genl. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 25 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 10, 1864 

I WILL not be able to go up the river with you today. Will 

go tomorrow. 

U. S. GRANT, Li. GenL 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., Aug. 10, 1864, 10.50 A.M. 

Lieut. GenL GRANT, Comd g. etc., CITY POINT 

I HAVE just received telegraphic reports of contents of Rich 
mond paper of today, which announces the surrender of Fort 
Gaines off Mobile with six hundred men, fifty guns, and six 
months provisions. Also the blowing up of Fort Powell. I 
will send the official despatch as soon as I receive it. 

Please let the operator forward this to the Secretary of the 

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

Head Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., August 10th, 1864 

Lt. Col. BIGGS, Chief Qr. Master, FORT MONROE 

SEND me up at once every dumping cart and harness you can 
get. Send over to Norfolk & borrow those in the hands of 
the Sup t of Prison Labor. We shall only want them for 
twenty (20) days. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. GenL Comd g. 

H. C. CLARKE, Capt. & A.D.C. 

From General Butler to Major Ludlow 

Aug. 10, 6.30 P.M. 

BY reading the enemy s signals, a copy of which I send you, 
it will be seen that the enemy intend an attack upon you prob 
ably tomorrow morning at daylight; as you will see, not an 
infantry attack, although you had better be ready for that. 
As soon as they open, we shall open on them. Let the navy 
dispose of themselves, getting all the guns they can to bear to 
cover your front and to drive off the iron-clads. 

Let the men understand it so that they need not be taken 
by surprise, and get themselves under cover during the night as 
much as possible. Send by Clark for anything you need. 

Yours, BUTLER 



26 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to General Birney 

Aug. IQth, 6.45 

IN case the enemy open as they probably will do tomorrow 
morning, I would advise that all the guns at the Water Battery 
and the Gemat Crow s Nest open upon the Howlett house. 
That the two mortars with fuses too long to explode before the 
shell strikes, try for the rams if they come down. If the one 
hundred pounder at the Crow s Nest can bear on the ironclads, 
let her try it. The mortar in Battery Wilcox better bear upon 
Howlett House. Perhaps the gun at Battery Parsons can 
reach the iron-clads. A reserve light battery if thrown forward 
on the bank of the river below the Crow s Nest would sweep 
Dutch Gap from any land attack by infantry, but you can best 
judge of this by being on the spot. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 10, 1864 

WHO has immediate command of troops at Dutch Gap? It 
will require some one there who cannot be stampeded. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Genl. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs., Aug. 10th, 1864, 8.50 P.M. 

Lieut. Gen. U. S. GRANT, CITY POINT 

THAT command is in immediate charge of Major Ludlow of 
my staff. A gentleman of experience who will not be stam 
peded. He is now here. I have explained to him all the cir 
cumstances, & we shall not leave. 

I have been able since I sent to you to decipher the enemy s 
signals. Put in where the first break is, "Col. Carter is," 
and where the second is "Cox s overseer s house," which place 
you will find on the map, and it will read as follows: 

"Col. Carter is here engaged in locating artillery at Signal 
Hill and Cox s overseer s house." 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comdg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F, BUTLER 27 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs., Aug. 10th, 1864, 9.10 P.M. 

Maj. Gcnl. BIRNEY, Comd g. 18th A. C. 

I HAVE deciphered the despatch. It will read as follows: 
"General Robert E. Lee, Hewlett s House. Yours of 10 
A.M. received at Signal Hill. Col. Carter is here engaged in 
locating artillery at Signal Hill and Cox s overseer s house." 
You will find both places on the map. Signal Hill is near 
Cox s house, and Cox s overseer s house is about a mile and a 
half from our position, directly up the road from the Gap. 

Please explain where it is to Captain Smith. Send over an 
aid to him. 



From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 10, 1864 

THE Navy ought to be apprised of the despatch taken from 
the rebel signal, and so station a part of their boats as to com 
mand the ground around our troops at Dutch Gap. If the 
enemy open from Hewlett s open from our Water Batteries 
on it. Are our men well covered from artillery fire? If so, 
and they are alert, a rebel attack ought to prove disastrous to 

them U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen. 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., Aug. 10th, 1864 

Lieut. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Comd g., etc., CITY POINT 

WE are preparing to meet the rebels if they choose to attack 
us. I think our men are under cover. The Navy have been 
notified to be ready on their part. A rebel deserter this after 
noon reports a rumor in their camp that their cavalry have been 
knocked to pieces with a loss of four (4) guns up in the Shenan- 
doah Valley. Have you any news upon that subject? He also 
reports that last Saturday night part of cavalry which was in 
the rear of their line, I presume a brigade, between the James 
and Appomattox, left for the Shenandoah. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 



28 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs., Aug. IQth, 1864, 10.120 P.M. 

Brig. Genl. MARSTON, FORT POCAHONTAS 

I DESIRED Col. Innis to cooperate with General Graham in a 
movement upon the enemy near Cabin Point, and so pursue 
them down to Swans Point. 

Graham landed at daybreak. You stopped the march of 
Col. Innis until 10.45 by saying "Don t move until I come. I 
will be there in an hour." Do you not get up to make move 
ments until 10.45? It is a little later in the morning than I am 
accustomed to see my officers move. Please explain. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, August 10th, 64 

DEAREST: We arrived home this morning. You know that 
from the word we had we should be excited as we neared home. 
I had determined to show no emotion if it were possible to 
control it. Bennie stood at the gate in his best suit, ready to 
touch off his little cannon. He bowed to us gravely, as we 
whirled by, touched off the cannon and flew across the lawn to 
kiss us at the door. The others were all glad, rejoiced to see us. 
But there was sadness behind it, for Harriet s case has been 
consulted upon by the Boston doctors, and pronounced hope 
less. They do not recommend an operation. It is cancer of 
the breasts. I do not give up all hope. So Dr. Kimball said 
of Mrs. Stephen s case. Yet it has not troubled her. Harriet 
has very little pain, no ulceration, but the breast is drawn 
back. Dr. Kimball has not seen her yet. I shall send for 
him. Unfortunately, I could not find Dr. McCormick. 
Would it be impossible for you and him to come on in the next 
two or three weeks? Pray do if you can. I shall close the 
house in September if you do not object. There is great diffi 
culty in getting servants, nor would it be possible to leave 
Harriet here unless I stayed with her. The doctors prescribe 
nothing but to be cheerful and a good diet. If she continues 
as well I will take her to the Fortress, get Sally to attend upon 
her, sleep in the room and give her the advantage of cheerful 
company, and the children will go with us and continue their 
studies. All this depends of course on your staying. And 
I can see no likelihood of your coming home to stay. But do 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 29 

come for a little while if you can, especially as I think we shall 
surely close the house as the most economical and far the best 
plan. I can hardly get time to write this, the children hang 
round me so closely. Write to me at once. I was disap 
pointed that I did not find a letter from you. You must be 
very kind to me, for I feel that I have some care and anxiety, 
but it must be bravely met. Give me sympathy and what 
attention you can, and I can bear it well. 

Your most affectionate WIFE 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, August Wth, 64 

DEAREST: I wrote you this afternoon, but now the house is 
still all the family in bed, I must keep my old habit of writing 
to you the last thing. Do not mind the two letters I wrote on 
my way here. They were gloomy, but indeed I could not 
help it. It was like tearing me to pieces to start from Fortress 
Monroe as I did. But there was no alternative. I could not 
fail or neglect in duty or affection to one who has done all for 
me that she could. You do not know how I pity her. But 
I will not give up hope. The house shall be cheerful and the 
way softened if it must be so, but as yet I tell you I do not accept 
it. The children are wrapt to see us. Benny slips quiver; and 
both have hung round my bed all the evening. Both cried 
bitterly because I spoke quickly, not unkindly, while they were 
pulling away at a pistol. It took me a long time to console 
them. They are finely-organized, and will enjoy and suffer 
keenly. Benny s baby face will take many years to harden 
into a man s firm visage. It is delicate as when he nursed. 
Paul has grown taller. They are handsome boys and well- 
behaved. I see by their feelings we have left them alone more 
than we ought to hereafter. Children suffer without being 
able to express it. Goodnight, dearest. It is getting too late, 
and I had no sleep last night. We came by way of Norwich, 
which route gives no chance for sleep. Goodnight. I want 
room for a line tomorrow. 

Dr. Kimball called today. I described Harriet s case, and 
he made an examination. He gives no hope. This I shall not 
tell her. I will have her cheerful if possible. And she does 
not suffer much. He says it will probably attack the lungs. 
No ulceration is to be looked for. If you and Dr. McCormick 
could run on for a day or two I think it would be a consolation 



30 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

to her. Dr. Kimball thinks it will be rapid. I do not think 
that is sure. But it is not likely she can go to Fortress Monroe. 
Come on if you can, cheerfully for a few days it may help to 

Yours most affectionately, SARAH 
From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Aug. 10th, 1864 

MY DEAR DEAR WIFE: I must write to you if but a single 
word. My writing to you seems to be the only close tie we 
have. Your going away seems to break away our ties and leave 
me oh ! so lonely. Now I could go down to the fort, but what 
use to go there. Grant has come back, and we shall be quiet for 
a few days. I open the mail now, but no little blue letter 
meets me. You must write me every day as you did at the 
fort. Tell me all about the children and the home and yourself. 

Yours as ever, BENJ. F. B. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of Va. & N. Carolina, 

in the Field, Va., Aug. IWh, 1864 

Lt. Col. T. S. BOWERS, Asst. Adjt. GenL, CITY POINT 

COLONEL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
the complaint in a letter to the President of the condition of the 
Brigade represented by Col. Armstrong of the 134th Regt., 
Ohio Vols., one hundred days men, written by Col. Armstrong 
Comdg., and also the letter of Surgeon King of the same Regt. 
to the Governor of Ohio. 

I have had a very full and faithful examination of this case 
made, and should have reported sooner except for the ab 
sence of the Lieut. GenL, and the fact that no remedies were 
needed. 

I caused a report to be made by Col. Armstrong, by the 
Surgeon and by the Medical Director of the Corps, of the exact 
sanitary condition of the Regiment, and of all the facts and 
circumstances necessary to be known to show the condition of 
the Brigade, all of which are herewith enclosed, and I beg leave 
to refer to them. The statement of Col. Armstrong that there 
has been an unusual amount of fatigue duty performed by his 
regiment is falsified by his own report, which shows that his 
men have done but six days and a half, or averaging twelve 
hours in thirteen days; during the twenty days next preceding 
the time of his complaint, they only had been called upon to do 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 31 

picket duty once in five days, and that since that time his 
fatigue duty has nearly entirely ceased. 

It, the reported condition of his Brigade, would seem to be 
either an attempt at falsification, or an entire and utter ineffi 
ciency on the part of himself and his Surgeon, because a regi 
ment of one hundred days men detached from his Brigade - 
the 138th have a very small percentage of sickness, and 
have no better location. I need say nothing as to the letter of 
the Surgeon, because he in a letter to the Governor of Ohio, a 
copy of which has been forwarded, and a copy of which is here 
with enclosed, admits substantially that there is not one word 
of truth in the former statement. 

In view of the circumstances, and as an example to alarmists 
and to those officers who desire to get sympathy for themselves 
and thus get relieved from duty by false statements of their 
hardships, I would ask that the recommendation of both the 
Division and Corps Commanders be carried out, and that both 
Col. Armstrong and Surgeon King be dismissed the service 
of the United States. 

True, they have but a few days longer to serve, but they 
ought not to go out in an honorable manner, especially the 
Colonel, who upon a personal examination, although he had 
been before an officer in the service from which he had resigned, 
so that he knew the rules of the service, when asked if he had 
ever made any complaint to his Corps Commander, or to the 
Commanding General, of the hardships to which he alleges his 
troops had been subjected, or of the want of medical supplies, 
replied that he had not; and when asked to say why, in the 
absence of making such complaints and requests of the Com 
manding General, he should write such a letter to the President 
of the United States, replied in substance "that he had no 
other excuse for writing in the manner he did than that he 
helped nominate the President at Chicago, and therefore he 
thought he would have more influence with him, and could 
approach him more easily than he could the Comdg. General. 

Now, I think he should be dismissed the service for having so 

poor an opinion of the President of the United States, because 

any officer knows that such considerations never operate upon 

the action of the Commander in Chief. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant 



32 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Montgomery Blair to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, Aug. Wth, 1864 

MY DEAR GENL. : I received, several days ago, your telegram, 
announcing the destruction of Seddon s house in retaliation for 
the burning of mine, I have delayed acknowledging it 
because, whilst thankful for the consideration which you show 
to resent my wrongs, I have yet regretted your action on this 
occasion. 

It is not because I have regard for Seddon, or Letcher, that 
I regret the destruction of their property by the order of our 
Military Commanders. They deserve a much worse punish 
ment, I know, and I trust they may yet receive it; but it will 
not be punishment unless they get it at the hands of the law. 

I have a great horror of lawlessness, and it does not remove 
my repugnance to it that it is practised upon the lawless. If 
we allow the military to invade the rights of private property 
on any other grounds than those recognized by civilized war 
fare, there will soon cease to be any security whatever for the 
rights of civilians on either side. 

The tendency of such measures is to involve our country 
in all the horrors of the war of the Fronde, of the petty Princes 
and Brigands of Italy, of the Guerillas of Spain, which made 
the plunder of the peaceful citizens homes, highway robbery 
and assassination, the concomitants of the war. 

No man, I know, would deprecate such results more than 
yourself, and there are no talents on which I would sooner 
rely than yours to prevent it, if you had proper support. 

Yours truly, M. BLAIR 

P.S. It may be proper to say that it was intimated to me 
through my Postal Agent that it was contemplated to burn 
Seddon s house, shortly after mine was burned in retaliation 
for that act, and I directed him to say that I hoped it would 
not be done. M. B. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the Field, Va., Aug. 10, 1864 

E. K. SNEAD, Esq., NORFOLK, VA. 

SIR : You came to me purporting to be a judge of a Court and 
a lawyer, knowing the force of language, and being called upon 
to answer for your conduct in a grave matter, you there dis- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 33 

tinctly informed me not only that you were "advised" but 
supported in your course by very high authority, and gave me 
to understand that it was the Attorney General. 

The person you do not now deny, but attempt to say that 
when you said "advised" you did not mean "advised," you 
only meant "approved," and that you desire now to correct 
what you said and substitute the word "approved" lest that 
you should put the learned Attorney General of the United 
States in a false position. 

In my opinion you have not bettered the matter. It is 
immaterial whether he "advised" or "approved" of your 
course. In either case he exceeded his authority much more 
than either you or he supposed I exceeded mine. But if there 
is a difference, you are not entitled to that difference, upon 
your statement. You not only told me he "advised " it, as you 
admit, but in various forms of words, much more strongly, 
you told me that you expected his support and aid in your 
course; and that he had laid the matter before the President 
in your behalf, and was acting rather in the nature of your 
counsel, as well as adviser, in the course that you and the sup 
posed restored Government of Virginia intended to pursue. 

Now, if you have done him any injustice in so grave a matter, 
and if what you have told me is not true, I shall be as prompt 
to punish a wrong done him as one done myself, and therefore I 
desire you to say to me in writing whether he did or did not 
advise you to your course. If he did not, I will then take such 
action as I am advised is best, and if he did, then I may con 
tent myself with the action already taken. 

You are also further desired to answer another question, 
whether you did or did not vote for Jefferson Davis for Presi 
dent of the Confederate States, because I may not feel inclined 
to allow one of Jefferson Davis constituents to make trouble 
between the officers of the United States Government, by 
making contradictory statements. I will wait till the 13th 
for a reply. I have the honor to be 

Very Respectfully Your obedient servant, (GEN. BUTLER) 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs., Aug. Ilth, 1864 

Lt. Col. BIGGS, Chief Q. M., FORT MONROE 

SEND me by the earliest possible conveyance four (4) subsoil 
plows of the largest size, strong. Twelve (12) coon bars 
weighing thirty (30) pounds each. Four (4) cable chains five- 

VOL. V 3 



34 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

% 

eighth inch wire, twelve (12) feet in length. Send these as 
early as possible, and report to me by telegraph when they 
start. Send these to Bermuda. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs., Aug. llth, 1864 

Captain G. V. Fox, Asst. Sec. Navy, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

CAN you let Alber put at the disposal of Sawyer to have 
rifled for me one gunblock that is cast for the Navy at South 
Boston? It is very necessary that I should get it. Please 
answer by telegraph. BENJ R BUTLER> Maj ^ 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. t August llth, 1864 

To BROTHER SAWYER, Ordnance Makers, FITCHBURG, MASS. 
MAKE me a five eighty -two (5-82) gun, rifled in ten (10) days. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 11, 1864, 9 P.M. 

You may commence immediately shipping to Washington 
all the one hundred day men. ^ g GRANT> 



From Colonel William B. Greene to General Butler 

In the Field near BERMUDA HUNDRED, August llth, 1864 

DEAR SIR: I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of 
II g, Special Order, No. 213, H d. Qrs. Dept. of Va. and N. C., 
dated August 5th, 1864, revoking, at my own request, my com 
mission as Colonel of the 1st Regt., U. S. Vols. I take the 
liberty to state that my military relation to yourself has been 
extremely satisfactory to me, that you have invariably treated 
me with singular kindness and consideration, and that I 
should be wanting in common gratitude if I failed to express 
the unmixed satisfaction I have experienced in being permitted 
to serve under your commission. 

I have also the honour to ask permission to go to Boston on 
Saturday or Sunday next this request to be regarded as a 
resignation of my position as Volunteer Military Aid serving at 
your Head Quarters. My reasons for not sending a formal 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 35 

resignation are these: it is my desire to preserve a military 
relation with yourself which, though sentimental only, will 
nevertheless be always real to me. 2nd I see no reason for 
any formal acceptance of my resignation as Volunteer Military 
Aid, since my appointment as such has not, to my knowledge, 
been published in orders, and will not therefore require to be 
rescinded in orders. 

If you should happen to be at leisure in the course of the 
day, you would confer a favour by permitting me to have a few 
moments conversation with you. I have the honour to re 
main, General, Most respectfully, 

Your obliged friend and obedient Servant, WM. B. GREENE 

From J. K. Herbert to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I arrived yesterday morning. Gen. 
Hamilton is here he promises to make the greatest effort 
of his life within ten days at Cooper Institute, New York 
City. 

He has told me what line he will take of course it is use 
less to try to give an idea of it, but it will be much more damag 
ing than the Wade-Davis letter, or I mistake. After having 
opened the hall in New York, he promises to go wherever his 
friends think it best he should go. I say west, where he has 
not been to St. Louis, Cincinnati, & Chicago. Am I right? 

But Hamilton has seen the President, had a plainer talk if 
possible than Thad. Stevens had with him the other day. 
L. wanted he should go out and make some speeches H. 
said, "No Sir as things stand at present I don t know what 
in the name of God I could say, as an honest man, that would 
help you. Unless you clean these men away who surround 
you, & do something with your army, you will be beaten 
overwhelmingly . 

Mr. L. said that was plain talk, but he (L) knew his danger. 
Said he, "You think I don t know I am going to be beaten, 
but I do and unless some great change takes place badly beaten" 
He said also "the people promised themselves when Gen. 
Grant started out that he would take Richmond in June he 
didn t take it, and they blame me, but I promised them no such 
thing, & yet they hold me responsible." Yes, H. said, he knew 
they did. 

Now, said H. "it is the people that must elect you to 



36 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

secure their votes you must heed even their prejudices they 
demand that everybody about you here except Fessenden shall 
be turned away, and men put in their places in whom they can 
have confidence. You cannot disregard this will, & be saved." 
"No matter," said H., "whether you like the men or not. 
You must send them at once away if they are friends, they ll 
go cheerfully for your sake if they are enemies, what the 
hell do you care what they think." 

L. said, "That s very plain talk." "Yes," said H., "regular 
backwoods, but I do not mean to deceive you." 

Mr. L. further urged him to go out & make a few speeches. 
H. said no he could not do that. "It would not look well 
for me to go out canvassing for you in uniform, and I think if 
I take it off it will be to make speeches against you and if I 
tender you my resignation you will know what it means." 
L. said, "Yes; I ll not misunderstand you." 

Now this is only an example of a very long conversation 
between Mr. Lincoln & H., Tom Corwin being present all the 
time. 

Hamilton had scarcely reached his room when he first arrived 
here before Raymond was after him to make speeches. H. 
said, " No, sir. Why the Devil don t you pitch in in your paper? 
I ve read the story of the fox who got his tail taken off, and 
you can t coax me to put mine in the trap too." 

I told him the policy was to disaffect as many men as possible, 
but not to betray our personal preferences, & he will act on the 
suggestion. 

Chase is most likely at Newport, Rhode Island. He has not 
been in Ohio yet. We will try to have him make that speech 
as he arrives home, & on being called out, so that it will seem 
somewhat impromptu. 

They have been trying to get Ford to go and see Chase for 
Mr. L. Barret, Com. of Pensions, came to his office whilst I 
was away, & urged him. L. sent a man to the office to inquire 
where I was, and was told that I had gone to New York. 

Ford will see Weed and have him come to see, he thinks with 
out any doubt. Nor has he the slightest doubt that Chase 
will make the severest speech he can. Ford will probably go 
to Cincinnati with Chase, and possibly make a speech himself. 
We will see Thad. S. & Cameron. 

The Gov. has been unable to see Mr. L. in regard to my case 
yet, but he has an arrangement for 9 A.M. to-day. 

I met Hon. T. M. Howe of Pittsburg, yesterday, on the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 37 

Avenue. He says he is for Lincoln just like all good men 
say it, & is ready for a fight, and says you are his man. He 
and Hamilton used almost the same words in saying that they 
considered "Gen. B. the greatest Intelligence on this conti 
nent," & wished he was Pres. Howe said, "Butler is the only 
man who can make headway against Lincoln." He may come 
down to see you. One thing you want to know if he comes, & 
that is that he and Cameron are at loggerheads politically. 
But he is a very strong man in Western Pa. He is Curtin s 
proxy for the west. He is an honest man I think. I am 

Your ob t. servt., J. K. HERBERT 

From Edward Everett Hale 

MILTON, MASS., Aug. 11, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL BUTLER: Governor Everett sends me a 
flaming and indignant letter which some person unknown has 
addressed to him in a Richmond paper, complaining of the 
treatment received by the lower Brandon plantation, on James 
River, at the hands of our troops. The only reason Mr. 
Everett is addressed is that he was once or twice a visitor at the 
place. He says he does not suppose he can take any notice of 
the article; but I think he would like to make a fit answer to it. 
And he would be glad if you could make time enough to let 
him or me know if there was any special purpose which can be 
laid before the public to advantage of what these people call 
"the Raid," and how far the facts are correctly stated if you 
saw the article. If you can do this it will be a favor to him 
and to me. 

Mr. Motley acknowledged with great pleasure your kindness 
to his son, Capt. Motley. It was his last news from him. 

Pray ask Maj. Mulford the first time he goes up to see what 
news he can get of my friend Maj. Forbes, of our 2nd Cavalry, 
he is now at Lynchburg. Pray exchange him if an acciden 
tal chance appears. 

In the chance that nobody sends you any books, I have 
ordered the fourth volume of Carlyle s Frederic the Great sent 
to you. In reading it, I have a dozen times been struck with 
things which I thought would please you; and though I know 
you must be familiar with those campaigns, I know you will 
like C s short-hand way of telling the story. 

Major Stackpole telegraphed me that he wanted my testi 
mony in Capt. King s case; and then that he should do with- 



38 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

out. I wrote him that if he would send me my report I would 
swear to it here if necessary. 

I think of you all at head quarters constantly ; and wish you 

all success. 7 ^ ^ TT 

Lruly yours, EDW. E. HALE 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, August llth, 64 

DEAREST: I have your letter of the 8th and 9th, and you 
have received none from me. Yet I wrote on Sunday just before 
I left, another from Baltimore, and again from New York, and 
every day since I came. This is the third I have written at 
home. Tomorrow we shall have a picnic. Harriet is able to 
drive out, and bears herself bravely. She is comfortable and 
cheerful. She has spoken two or three times of seeing you. If 
possible, come on with Dr. McCormick. We called on your 
mother today on our return from Dracut . She was not at home . 
But we found her at our house. She is very well, but not so 
fleshy as usual. We shall see her very frequently. In the 
morning I shall prepare for the picnic, boil eggs, make coffee, 
etc. That will take me all the forenoon. I could write you, 
dearest, a great deal more tonight, but it is eleven o clock. I 
would put my arms around you if I could, but although they 
are very long they will not reach so far. Goodnight. 

Dearest, we have had the picnic today. It was very pleas 
ant all were very sorry you were not present. The children 
enjoyed it thoroughly. Bathed, boated, and ate without limit. 
Our object is to amuse the present hour, and if you should come 
on we should not make it dull for you. Harriet would like 
to see you about some business matters. We have great hopes 
you will come. She will want you and Fisher to take charge 
of what she has. I ran upstairs on my return to finish this 
for Fisher to take along to put in the office. They are in a 
hurry to get the children home. I ll write again tomorrow, and 
can add then what I have not time for now. Goodnight, 
dearest love. Yom affectionate WlFE 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

\ Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the Field, Aug. llth, 1864 

MY OWN DEAREST WIFE: Your dear letter came last night. 
Where could it have been so long? If you were more sad and 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 39 

lonely at leaving than I was even with the errand you were on, 
I pity you indeed. 

Another day is dragging along. No change. Farragut, the 
brave old soul, is all there is of life in the armed forces of the 
United States. The political cauldron is boiling, "Bubble, 
bubble, toil and trouble," until one hardly cares who comes 
uppermost. I do wish I was quiet at home, with a certainty 
that I was never to leave it. Talk about the sacrifice that 
Cincinnatus made when he laid down power and retired to his 
home. The sacrifice was when he took it up and left home. 
He might have become discontented after he went home 
(who knows?), but when he went home he was glad even if 
he knew his plough was broken. 

I have got so sad that it reacts as it sometimes does, and I 
talk nonsense. 

Be you sure to write me every day long letters as little 
sad as possible, and portray the shades of your mind and 
not sad at all about me, for in truth you have no occasion. 

My dearest wife, now believe me fully, won t you, and be 

happy as you can. ir 

Yours, BENJ. 

From General Banks 

Headquarters, Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August Vlth, 1864 

Honorable C. A. DANA, Asst. Secretary of War, 
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
letter of the 16th April, enclosing certain papers relating to the 
claim of Dr. Syme, an alleged English subject, and transmitting 
copy of a letter from Major General Butler and the statement 
of Lieut. Col. Charles M. Wheldon, late of 31 Massachusetts 
Volunteers, in relation to Dr. Syme, and also informing me that 
the order of the War Department, issued February 24th, 1864, 
directing payment of Dr. Syme s claim, has been suspended, 
"awaiting any explanations which you may make concerning 
the facts and allegations." 

In reply, I have the honor to state that on the 29th Decem 
ber, 1862, shortly after assuming command of this Department, 
I "received a despatch from the Secretary of War, requesting 
that an examination be made into the case of Dr. Syme." 

A commission was appointed, of which Col. James Smith, 
128th New York Volunteers, was President, to investigate the 
case. After a full hearing of all parties, at which Dr. Syme 



40 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

was present in person and by counsel, assisted by Mr. Coppell, 
Acting British Consul, the commission came to this conclusion: 
That Doctor Syme was a British subject, that upon the testi 
mony presented in the case they did not find him to be guilty 
in the smuggling operations charged; and that it did not 
appear that he had an interest in the transportation of medi 
cine to the rebels. 

Upon this finding, it is just to add, that no records whatever 
upon this or other similar cases were to be found at these Head 
quarters. There was no record of the evidence upon which 
the charges were based, or upon which the confiscation of his 
property and his imprisonment were ordered. The judgment 
of the commission is therefore imperfect in the nature of things ; 
and it was in consequence of this palpable imperfection of the 
record, arising from the want of testimony not only against Dr. 
Syme, but upon the general subject submitted for enquiry, that 
I replied to the order in regard to his payment, that "there was 
no money in this Department which could be applied to that 
purpose, and no evidence in my possession which would justify 
the payment of his claim if I had the money." My proceed 
ings in this case were in pursuance of the orders of the War 
Department. I did not call upon General Butler for informa 
tion or opinion, because he was not within my command, and I 
had neither interest nor power to lead me in that direction. I 
supposed that if information in the possession of General Butler 
were required by the War Department, application would be 
made directly to him. 

In reference to the comments of Gen. Butler upon the pro 
ceedings here, I have only to call the attention of the Secretary 
of War to this fact that from a sentence in my despatch, dated 
March 17th, 1864, which stands in these words, "We have not 
in this Department the means to answer it nor the evidence 
to justify the payment of his claim," Gen. Butler takes the 
liberty to separate two propositions contained therein, and 
excluding altogether the statement that there was no evidence 
in this Department to justify the payment of this claim - 
comments very earnestly and with as much severity as the 
case demands, upon the fact that there being no appropriation 
for this purpose, no payment would be made, as if that were 
the only reason for non-payment. 

A commentary based upon such perversion of the facts calls 
for no answer. It requires considerable ability to justify so 
much indignation when it is excited by the suppression of one 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 41 

part of a sentence and the exclusive consideration of the other. 
Any lawyer who succeeds in this practice would, if successful, 
find an extensive clientage in Massachusetts or elsewhere. 

In pursuance of the order received from the Secretary of 
War, the real property formerly in possession of Dr. Syme has 
been returned to him. The medical director has been in 
structed to account to him for the rent, and the owner in fee 
of the premises has been informed that Dr. Syme will not be 
held responsible for its occupation by the Government of the 
United States. 

Beyond this nothing has been done or contemplated. Pay 
ment for alleged damages sustained by Dr. Syme cannot be 
made for the reasons specified, that there is nothing to justify 
the payment, and no appropriation of money for that purpose. 
I have the honor to be with much respect, 

Your obdt. Servant, N. P. BANKS, M. G. C. 

War Department, August 25th, 1864 

Endorsed: Referred to Major General B. F. Butler, com 
manding the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, for 

his information. n -, f , 7 c vtr 

By order of the SECRETARY OF WAR 

C. A. DANA, Asst. Sec. of War 

Respectfully transmitted, A G Office > Au ust mh > 1864 

E. D. TOWNSEND, Asst. Adjt. General 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 12th, 1864 

OUR entrenchments are now so strong that with a very thin 
line they can be held. We have the further security that the 
enemy have shown that he feels no inclination to attack forti 
fications. Under this view I have been thinking that with the 
colored troops alone, or at furthest with the colored troops 
and the white troops of the 10th Corps, the 18th Corps might 
be got foot loose to rest and fit up for other service which I will 
make known to you. 

I think one inf y man to six feet the greatest abundance at 
Bermuda, & one (1) at four feet sufficient for the line north 
of the Appomattox. As soon after the matter about which I 
addressed you confidentially an hour ago is settled, I wish you 
would take this matter in hand. ^ ^ GRANTj 



42 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Grant 

CONFIDENTIAL. Head Quarters Armies of the United States, 

CITY POINT, VA., Aug. 12th, 1864 

M aj. Gen. BUTLER, Comd g. Dept. of N. C. & Va. 

GENERAL: It having become evident that the enemy has 
sent north two if not three divisions of infantry, twenty pieces 
of artillery, and one division of cavalry, besides the dismounted 
cavalry, and a few regiments to Charleston, I have determined 
to see if we cannot force him to return here or give us an ad 
vantage. To do this I have given the same instructions as for 
the last movement from Deep Bottom. There is this differ 
ence, however, in the preparation. The 2nd Corps the only 
one out of line and foot loose, will march here this afternoon to 
embark in steamers. They will be under the impression, except 
the Commander, that Washington is their destination. To 
facilitate embarkation (ostensibly) the artillery and transporta 
tion goes to Bermuda Hundred tonight. After dark tomorrow 
night the pontoon bridge will be laid at the same place as on the 
former occasion. As soon as laid, or soon after 12 o clock at 
night, the cavalry and artillery will commence crossing. The 
inf y, which will all be embarked here during the day on 
steamers, will start so as to reach Deep Bottom about 2 A.M. 
the 14th. 

I hope to have prompt movements and favorable results. 

What force can you spare from Bermuda Hundred to be 
used north of the James with their expedition? Whatever 
force you can spare, reducing the force to hold your line to a 
minimum, I wish you to have ready to follow the artillery and 
cavalry soon after daylight on the 14th. I am, General, 
Very respectfully, ^ ^ ^ ^ g GRANT; u ^ 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Aug. 12, 1864, 5.30 

YOUR note of instructions is received. Owing to the recent 
arrival of the South Carolina troops I am unable to say just 
how many we can spare for the purpose, but I think 10 thou 
sand men for a week s operations, and perhaps more if the 
18th holds its ground for the present. I will write you in 
detail as soon as I can ascertain precisely. 

Respectfully, B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 43 

From General Butler to General Meade 

CONFIDENTIAL. Head Qrs., Aug. 12th, 3.50 P.M. 

THERE is no physical difficulty in getting out on Foster s 
front, as well as below. In either case you will meet about three 
brigades in light rifle pits. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

P.S. Have captured Gen. Lane s (Alabama Brigade) A. A. 
Gen., who says when we took those guns before at Deep 
Bottom there were but three thousand men on that side, and 
I believe even were (less) the next day. B. F. B. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 12, 1864 

SEND one regt. heavy arty, to Washn., and let me know as 
soon as possible what one you send. 

U. S. GRANT, Li. Genl. 

From N. G. Upham to General Butler 

CONCORD, Aug. \Zth, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have been much disappointed in the 
opportunity I hoped to have had in going to see you at your 
Head Quarters. But a new session of our Legislature and 
various events here have detained me. In the meantime, cir 
cumstances are daily occurring demanding the most careful 
scrutiny and foresight of all true men. 

I have come to these conclusions: There is but one course 
of action that can give any vital powers to the Convention at 
Chicago. It should adopt as the fundamental article of their 
platform "That the integrity of the Union must and shall be 
preserved at all hazards, and at any sacrifice, " & follow it up with 
strong views not conflicting with it. They will not do this, 
& must fail of commanding the confidence of the people. 

I believe also that Lincoln will meet with a like failure, 
unless he shall at once dismiss his entire Cabinet, with the ex 
ception of Seward & Fessenden, & place, in their stead, sound, 
energetic, reliable men in whom the country have implicit 
confidence, & who will carry on his Cabinet as a unit & with a 
power adequate to the wants & wishes of the people. If he 
will do this, you being one of the men & having a voice in the 



44 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

selection of others who shall meet your full approbation, I 
hope you will go in & save the country. 

If this is not done, immediately after the Chicago Conven 
tion, the people must act & take the necessary means to secure 
to themselves a government. I am ready to do what I can. I 
see no other remedy in this emergency, & we must be prepared 
to act & act promptly. I write in some haste, but with the 
fullest convictions as to the results at which I have arrived. 
I hope to see Hildreth on Monday. I am, as ever, 

Most truly yours, N. G. UPHAM 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, August 12, 1864 

DEAREST: My evening is spoiled for you. Callers up to 
ten o clock. Cushings, Tyler, and Crosbys. The Judge 
sends many good wishes. His daughter Maria is engaged to 
a paymaster in the Army, by the name of Lien, I believe. 
He belongs to Erie, Pennsylvania. Oh, dear, why should I 
take the trouble to write about them? But I believe you are 
rather pleased with neighborly gossip. You do not write if 
Dr. McCormick has returned to you. I am confident he could 
suggest something beneficial for Harriet. If he were here we 
should start for Sharon. Not for Jordan, we are hastening 
toward that, and would fain avert the speed. Harriet is 
better, to all appearance, than she was at the Fort. I hate 
Doctors, they say horrible things in the most indifferent way, 
and go away without doing anything. Dr. McCormick is 
better than that. He will try many things, and never gives up. 
He makes himself agreeable too, if his drugs are bitter. And 
there is virtue in those, if not in himself. Oh dear, I shall die, 
with catching at straws! I could laugh out like a maniac, 
but I won t. I have a great mind to pack one trunk and go 
into Asia all by myself. In that way, I might manage to stay 
in the world, by going out of it. Now, I am not good tonight, 
nor resigned to what is placed before me, but am beset with an 
ugly feeling of humourous and fiendish mockery at the way 
things look. No doubt some evil thing is tampering with us. 
I will say my prayers, put out the light, and creep into bed 
beside of Blanche. Put out the light. If I quench the flaming 
minutes I can again thy former light but, 

Goodnight, goodnight, I write nothing to the purpose to 
night ; there is danger and disobedience in me, in the morn- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 45 

ing I shall be "smooth as oil, soft as young down," "pliant as 
the pendant willow that shows its long leaves in the glassy 
stream." 

Saturday morning. We have taken a long walk through the 
garden round by the cottage back to the piazza. There are 
quite an abundance of pears, peaches, and sweet apples. Not 
yet ripe, but changing rapidly to perfection. I am so unde 
cided about Sharon. We should go at once if at all, though 
September might answer very well only that it may grow too 
cold. You did not write me on what day Col. Greene left 
you. I have a fancy he may be here today. Mr. Owen is very 
well. In many respects fitted for his present duties. But I 
see no indication in him, nor indeed in any that I meet, of 
superior talent, no loft aspirations, no enthusiasm, no towering 
ambition that presses on in defiance of obstacles; though the 
development of these gifts is sometimes offensive in early youth 
to older people, they are the only incentives to noble actions, 
to future excellence. All that I meet are content to be taken care 
of. LTpset as easily as so many nine-pins. Not fit for her, if 
she requires as much as her mother. 

You give me a little hope that you will come. I have a firm 
belief that circumstance will make it a necessity. Restless, but 

Very truly yours, SARAH 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Aug. 13th, 1864 

MY DEAREST SARAH: I must be brief this morning. The 
enemy are now opening on the troops upon my right, and I 
must go and see to it at once. "Boots and saddles" have 
sounded. I need hardly tell you how much I was glad to get 
your little note from the Saint Nicholas. I got it last night. 
I am sorry you were weary in spirit. I supposed you would be 
in body, but why in spirit? And you to doubt whether there 
would be a letter awaiting you when you got home! You see 
how unjust you are in that, so that you will say you are unjust 
to me in all. I expect to get a letter tonight from you at home, 
and I trust a happy one. 

You must kiss me and say goodby as you would do if you 
were here, and I just going out. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Army 



46 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs., Dept. Va. & N. C., in Field, Aug. 13th, 1864 

Maj. Gen. BIRNEY, Comd g. 10th A. C. 

GEN. TERRY will remain in command of his Division very 
few of whom are in the line of defences. 

Gen. Turner will be put in command of all the troops used 
in the defence of the line. Gen. Terry s Division extends 
farther and beyond, and on application I, being present, will 
order such troops of Gen. Terry s Division as may be necessary 
for the line of defences to report to Gen. Turner. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comdg. 

From General Butler to General Birney 

Aug. 13th, 1864, 8.25 P.M. 

PROCEED as directed in verbal conference, written instruc 
tions in accordance therewith are on the way to you. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, August 13, 1864 

Major General BIRNEY, Commanding 10th A. C. 

IN accordance with verbal instructions heretofore given you 
upon consultation, you will take all the men that can, in your 
judgment, be spared from the lines between the Appomattox 
and the James, march across the pontoon bridge at Deep 
Bottom at such time as will enable you to strike the enemy in 
front of Brigadier General Foster in the most feasible form, on 
the morning of the fourteenth (14). You will take such por 
tion of General Foster s command and add it to your own as 
you think will be prudent. As you are to advance, leaving 
Deep Bottom behind you, in my judgment a small force will 
be necessary. You will turn over the command of the line of 
defences to Brig. Gen l. Turner, instructing him what troops 
you have left for that purpose. I shall be able to add from the 
dismounted cavalry, and from Graham, possibly eight hundred 
(800) men. You may order such portion of the garrison of 
Fort Converse as you think can be spared for the present, 
perhaps you can draw largely. I forbear giving instructions 
in writing because the details have already been arranged 
between us personally. 

You will report to Major General Hancock, who will be at 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 47 

Deep Bottom, in the course of the night. Any other instruc 
tions that you may desire from me will be promptly met by 
telegraph. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT Aug. 13, 1864 

ARE the rams firing at working parties at Dutch Gap? If 
so, with what effect? Which do you call Battery Sawyer? 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Genl. 

From General Butler 

Aug. 13th, 11.5 P.M. 

Brig. Gen. TURNER, 10 A. C. 

I AGREE it is your right to go, but it is the duty of somebody 
to stay. The Lieut. General particularly designated you this 
morning to me. I appreciate your wishes as a soldier. I wish 
we could all go, but the path of duty is not always along the 
road of inclination. 

Motives of personal friendship made me consent that you 

should stay. T-> -o - n n 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, May. Gen I. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, August 13th, 64 

DEAREST: I have your letter of August 10th, and still you 
write as if you had received none from me. What can be the 
reason! There has been but one day when I have not written, 
and that was the night between New York and Lowell, from 
Fortress Monroe, Baltimore, N.Y., and every day from Lowell. 
You will get them all in a bunch. Yesterday I gave you a little 
account of our picnic. We shall have them very frequently if 
the weather is favorable. In every letter I have urged you to 
come on with Dr. McCormick. Bring William with you if you 
come, and leave Stephen to take care at the Fortress. The 
journey would be a benefit to you in every way, and a great 
satisfaction and comfort to all the family. 

Politically, the chances are for McClellan, a strange thing 
when it was so clearly decided that his career was finished. 
Lincoln s hopes are less every day. The only hope for the 
radicals is that Lincoln and Fremont should yield their preten- 



48 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

sions, unite on a new man, and give the whole strength of the 
Republican party in opposition to McClellan. 

Would it not be well for your own affairs that you should 
come North for a little while? And for your health too? If 
you could pass a week here, it seems to me nothing could be 
better. The picnic has wearied Benny, made him a little sick, 
so that he has begged off from his lessons. Our horses are all 
on the wane. If we should break up housekeeping here, you 
would not think it best to keep any of them. Frazer, the 
coachman, seems a very capable, honest-looking man. Jen 
Brown is still here, and perhaps had better remain a few weeks 
longer, until we decide what is best to be done. 

Benny is not so sick as to prevent his teasing for an apple 
puff, which I have allowed him to have. 

Dr. Edson is very urgent that I shall join his church with 
Harriet. If it will give her satisfaction I will do it. His re 
quirements are by no means rigid. A feeling of trust and reli 
ance may come from it to cheer and sustain. I hope you will 
think it possible to come on. 



From General Butler 

Aug. 14, 1864 

Maj. LUDLOW, A.D.C. 

As the operations at Dutch Gap are being carried on under 
my personal supervision, you will remain at the Gap for the 
purpose of carrying out my directions, and all orders given by 
you will be under my direction and be obeyed accordingly. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

DEEP BOTTOM, Aug. 14, 1864 

GEN. MEADE has been directed to watch closely, & if present 
demonstration north of James should force the enemy to 
weaken his lines at Petersburg so that advantage can be taken 
of it, to do so without waiting further instructions. In such 
case he has been authorized to call on the 18th Corps for 
co-operation or assistance. Please instruct Gen. Ord that in 
case of operating against Petersburg he will receive orders 
from Gen. Meade. n g 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 49 

From General Butler to General Birney 

Aug. 14, 64, 3.30 P.M. 

GEN. GRANT informs me, as he has you, that he thinks that 
it will be impolitic to try and carry the point in your front. 
Also that the road is so blocked that it will be nearly impossible 
for an hour to pass troops to you. I have taken therefore the 
liberty to (halt) the column, now being past your (late) Head 
Qr. Can we not get out better by the head of three mile 
Creek? Of course this is but a suggestion, not an order, as 
you are under Hancock s orders. I will order forward the 
column as soon as the officer who takes this returns, if you 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 
From General Butler to General Birney 

Ed. Qrs., Aug. Uth, 3.30 

THE only despatch received for you was that the junction of 
4 mile Creek and New Monket [Market] Creek was the posi 
tion he desired you to take. I replied to Gen. Hancock that 
you understood it, and was about to make the advance if prac 
tical. The despatch of Gen. Hancock was read at 3 o clock, 
dated 1.15 P.M. B F BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Aug Uth, 1864 

Major Genl. BIRNEY, Comd g 10th Corps 

DESPATCH received. All honor to the brave 10th Corps! 

These six (6) guns and the two (2) mortars will make a gap in 

the enemy s lines by which I trust you will go through. You 

have done more than was expected of you by the Lieut. Gen. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

JONES NECK, 4.45 P.M., Aug. 14 

I ENCLOSE the notes just received from Col. Dandy. He 
seems to have joined Hancock near-by. Birney says he is 
forming his line for the night. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 



VOL. V 4 



50 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 
From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, August Uth, 1864 

DEAREST: You dear letters come daily. Thank Heaven 
there is this means of communication. It is almost like seeing 
you when I pull off the envelope and read what you are doing. 
But what shall I do if you do not get mine? They must go 
regularly by this. Bennett directed those from Baltimore and 
N. York. They were very desponding, so that it will be as well 
if you do not get them. Blanche and I have been to church 
this forenoon. How far back it looks from the first year we 
went there. Yet too, it seems but a day. You can trace the 
lapse of time by looking round the church and seeing the young 
boyish and girlish faces grown grave and middle-aged. I 
waited longer in the aisle than usual, and spoke with most of 
those I knew. Some of them wished the war was over and we 
all back at home. So do I, or travelling wherever we thought 
it best or most attractive. I feel as though we were moving on 
through a land of dreams, each one more strange and significant, 
as they are marshalled along, than the one that preceded it. 
While I sit here now so quietly writing to you, and look back at 
these visions of life and those that are now passing, and behold 
my other self struggling and striving, torn by conflicting pas 
sions, frantic with emotion, I am amazed at my present self 
so still, calm, almost happy at this hour, looking at it all as if 
I had passed beyond it, as I have for a time; feeling that life s 
fitful dream has been the same, since time began, varied only 
by different individuality. Every life is worthy of much 
pity, it is so mixed with trouble. No life is so bad that we 
should dare condemn it. I have pursued this longer and differ 
ently from what I intended. I feel cheerful and wish to write 
so. This afternoon we go over to see Milton s house. It is 
not yet completed, that is, the additions. Tomorrow or the 
next day we shall have another picnic. Johnny Kimball told 
me today that he saw Kinsman in Boston, that he would be 
here tomorrow or some day this week. But we want to see 
you, and Dr. McCormick. We have reasoned on the chances 
until we fully expect you. I will have new ink, pen, and paper 
before I write many more letters. I think you have been long 
enough on that dusty plain. And you should be happy here 
for a little, or give pleasure to others, and that is much. 

Yours devotedly, SARAH 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 51 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Aug. 15, 9 A.M. 1864 

MY pickets at Dutch Gap report trains running all night 
from Petersburg to a point just above them, and there clapping 
and whistling, probably at Chaffins Farm. Signal Officer at 
Spring Hill reports two trains have passed from Petersburg, 
the last loaded with commissary stores. At 9 A.M. a regiment 
of cavalry has just passed Junction towards Richmond. 

Birney reports that his six guns turn out to be four 8 inch 
Howitzers. Also that he is ordered to make an assault on the 
right of Hancock this morning. Pretty far round from left to 

right BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, 11.05 A.M., Aug. 15, 1864 

DID Birney secure the guns reported, or are they on ground 
that could not be reached by either party? 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Genl. 

From Colonel S. B. Wooster to Major Davis 

UNITED STATES MILITARY TELEGRAPH, DEEP BOTTOM, 8.40 P.M. 

August 15th, 1864 

ABOUT five o clock this evening the enemy showed seven 
large companies in addition to their picket force near the Buffin 
House, and to the right and rear of the Grover House, as viewed 
from the Redan on the hill. This was when I was sending out 
the relief for my picket. No demonstration has been made on 

my lines W. B. WOOSTER, Colonel 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, August 15th, 64 

DEAREST : Another letter from you today, I am so glad that 
you write, even when you have nothing from me. I cannot 
think why it is so, that you do not get my letters. Wherein 
have I directed wrong, or what is the matter? I have written 
every day. And urged you in every one to come home. Oh, 
do come if possible. Do not fear that we are dull, that is over. 
Every energy is exerted to have the time pass pleasantly, 
and with success. We should do all for your pleasure that we 
ever did, even more. If you will come and bring Dr. McCor- 



52 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

mick both of you will enjoy it. Perhaps we will be ready to go 
back with you. I gain more courage about Harriet s case. 
I have heard Doctors opinions before, and they have proved 
utterly false. She certainly is comfortable, and appears better 
than at Fortress Monroe. My coming has done a world of 
good to her and the others. Lifted them up, as they say, from 
doubt and gloom, and given life and hope and pleasure. The 
children are like new creatures. Hereafter, if we live, they 
will go with us. I should not have the heart to go away now 
and leave them behind. Children cannot express, but they 
feel as keenly as grown people. They have overflowed with 
joy every hour since we came. They all expect you to come 
and brave times to follow. Bring William with you, not 
Stephen or the other. Indeed, before we close the house for 
the winter, as I think you will clearly see is best, you ought to 
have a little time here, and this is the best you can take. 
Let me know when you are coming. I know you could stay 
there and drag out the entire summer, but what object is there 
in doing that? There will be no movement of any account to 
us. You would really see clearer and understand the position 
of things better if you came North. Your letter is sad, and 
shows that every day is tedious and unsatisfactory. Come 
home for a little. Believe me, dearest, I do not keep unkind- 
ness for a word spoken in haste and irritation. I love you 
very dearly. So you can hurt me more than any one, and you 

can, too, make me happier. ^ 7 

Yours most truly, SARAH 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Aug. Mh, 1864 

DEAREST: What can have come over the mails! You say 
you were disappointed in not getting my letter when you 
reached home. If you ever do get them, it will appear that 
I have written you every day until yesterday morning. Then 
because of a movement I went out at 6 o clock and could not 
possibly stay to write, and as Sunday would make a break any 
how in the mails, I supposed it would make no difference with 
you. 

I never got your note on board the boat mailed at Baltimore 
till last night. At the same time came your first letter about 
Harriet. How sad and harsh the fate! Do everything you 
can to make her comfortable and her path easy. 

I fear I cannot get away at present. Yesterday morning we 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 53 

crossed James River again and attacked the enemy at Deep 
Bottom. Birney with all my troops made a movement at 
one place, and they were successful. Hancock with the second 
corps at another place did not get up in time to surprise the 
enemy, and so it was not a decided success. Birney took 
four guns and about 150 prisoners. I was on the field with 
Birney s corps all day. 

The curse of the Army of the Potomac is that it cannot 
move. McCormick has not yet returned. The sickness is 
largely increasing in our army. I do not know what we shall 
do without the men that the draft ought to have brought us. 

You cannot tell how homesick your descriptions of the place 
make me. I was lonely enough with you going away before, 
but your description of home scenes the children, so that I 
see you all would almost bring me away whether I would 
or no. 

I will try and come home if I can. Be sure of that. Mean 
while, write me a good long letter every day, and don t make 
me quite miserable by seeing you unhappy. Love to Blanche 
and the boys. Ask them if they would like to go up to the 

White Mountains. -. f 7 n 

Most truly, Dearest, BENJ. 

From Mrs. Ex-President Tyler 

CASTLETON HILL (NORTH SHORE) STATEN ISLAND 

August \5th, 1864 

WILL President Lincoln have the kindness to inform Mrs. 
(Ex. Pres t.) Tyler whether her home on the James River can 
be withdrawn from the hands of the negroes, who were placed 
in possession of it by Gen l. Wild, and restored to the charge of 
her manager, Mr. J. C. Tyler, an elderly unmarried gentleman, 
who has recently been released from imprisonment at Old 
Point? 

Though her estate has been subjected to wreck and devasta 
tion, within doors and without, what remains of it she would 
gladly have returned to the care of her manager, and an order to 
that effect from President Lincoln would of course speedily 
ensure such a result. 

Mrs. Tyler has communicated with Gen l. Butler this morn 
ing, making the above request, but not knowing whether he has 
entire authority over the matter, which it is important should 
be acted upon without delay, she addressed President Lincoln 
himself. 



54 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

August 19th, 1864 

Endorsed: Respectfully referred by the President to Major 

General Butler. XT n . 

JNO. NICOLAY, Private Sec. 

From General Martindale to General Butler 

CONFIDENTIAL. ROCHESTER, August 16th, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have received the extension of leave 
of absence which you were so kind as to order. By the same 
mail I received from the War Department further extension 
to the 15th Sept. I also received your copy endorsement on the 
resignation which I transmitted through you. I am sincerely 
grateful to you for your uniform kindness since I was ordered 
to your command in May last. And it gives me pleasure to 
recall the fact, because there is not an incident in my relations 
with you where there has not been manifested an earnest pur 
pose to keep every obligation imposed by public duty. 

I am getting along comfortably and very quietly, but with the 
utmost circumspection. I have hitherto been unable to control 
the malady which disturbed me when I left you. Still, I am 
better, and anticipate that with the change of weather, when 
the fall sets in, I will be in full order again. 

This conviction imposes on me the duty of deciding what I 
am to do. I have been strongly pressed since my return to 
become a candidate for Congress. I have uniformly declined. 
Nevertheless, I may be nominated without regard to my 
declension. The prospect is not an alluring one to me. There 
is no honor in administration; and on the other hand, it would 
be offensive to the community to refuse service when volunta 
rily and persistently tendered for my acceptance. 

The present condition of public sentiment is most unfavor 
able to the President. Depend on it, General, a Union of the 
Northern people to prosecute the war for the abolition of 
slavery, "pure and simple," when the alternative may be 
peace, with restoration of the old order of things, will be 
impracticable. The difficulty lies with that mass of the com 
munity which suffers materially and socially from the continu 
ance of war; mothers, sisters, wives, who have husbands, 
brothers, and sons in service, are indignant at the prospect to 
prosecute the war on the solitary issue of abolition. 

For myself, I have not seen and do not now see that any such 
issue can be truthfully made, I have no doubt that the prose 
cution of the war and suppression of the rebellion involves the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 55 

extinction of slavery, immediately or remotely; but the crafty 
politicians of the South have humbugged the echoes of the 
democratic leaders with the idea that peace may be had with 
out fighting, on the terms of union as it was, and constitution 
as it is, and so these echoes diligently inculcate the idea that all 
which the armies are fighting for now is abolition. It is cer 
tainly true that in this region the President has lost amazingly 
within a few weeks, and if the public sentiment here affords a 
fair indication of the public sentiment throughout the country, 
the popular suffrage to-day would be, "for a change." 

In times of revolution it is not easy to foretell from month 
to month what may be the paramount phase of public opinion ; 
and events are possible which will entirely change the present 
discontent. But these results must include military successes. 

From D. Heaton to General Butler 

NEWBERN, N. C., August 16th, 1864 

SIR : As you are doubtless aware, the recent Act of Congress 
in relation to Commercial Intercourse, the collection of Cap 
tured and Abandoned Property, &c. provides that an agree 
ment should be made in writing between the Commanding 
General of the Department and an Officer designated by the 
Secretary of the Treasury, as to the amount of monthly sup 
plies to be admitted in this Military District. By the Treas 
ury Regulations framed under this Act of Congress and just 
received at this office, the undersigned has been designated 
as the officer to arrange with you as to the introduction of 
goods. 

Desiring to occasion you as little inconvenience as possible 
amid your pressing duties, I have taken the liberty of drawing 
up such an agreement as it seems necessary to meet the case. 
I herewith respectfully enclose the same, drawn up in triplicate 
and signed on my part. If, on examination, the agreement 
meets with your approval, you will greatly facilitate matters by 
signing the original and duplicate and returning the same to me 
at your earliest possible convenience, retaining the triplicate 
copy for your own use. 

I have estimated the amount of goods and supplies proper to 
be admitted for loyal persons residing within the lines of actual 
military occupations in this District, at $300,000.00 per month, 
regarding the number of such persons to be fifty thousand, a low 
estimate considering the influx of white and colored refugees. 



56 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Judging from the amount of goods admitted for some of the 
months heretofore, it is not probable that the full amount of 
$300,000.00 will be demanded each month, hereafter, but it is 
deemed proper to stipulate for that amount so as to meet a real 
necessity that may arise. You may rest assured that the great 
est care will be exercised in admitting only such amounts as 
appear absolutely demanded by the necessities of the loyal 
people. At present, supplies are very limited, in fact so much 
so, as to create serious apprehension as to the result. 

For several weeks traders have imported very sparingly on 
account of apprehensions about raids and other causes, and 
hence the great want of provisions at the present moment. 

From the fact that we are compelled to suspend almost en 
tirely the admission of supplies until the agreement alluded to 
can be perfected, I feel it a duty, General, to solicit your early 
attention to the same. Very Respectfully, 

Your Obt. Servt., 
D. HEATON, Supg. Spl. Agt. Treas. Dept. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs., Aug 2(M, 1864 
CNot in chronological order] 

Mr. D. HEATON, Supt. & Spec 1. Agent Treas. Dept. 

SIR: Your letter was received last night. I forward, in 
triplicate approved, your estimate of amounts for supplying 
the necessities of loyal persons residing within the lines of actual 
occupation by the military forces of the U. S. in the District of 
North Carolina. You will observe I have approved it for 30 
days only. This approval is caused by the necessity you sug 
gest that some amount should be at once agreed upon in order 
to bring forward the necessary supplies. I by no means agree 
to the amount. You calculate men, women, & children, 
negroes and whites, that there are 50,000 souls in your district. 
You ask for $300,000 worth of supplies, that is at the rate of 
$3,600,000 a year, or $72 a month for every man, woman and 
child, white and black, in your district. Can it be possible 
that either of two things obtain? First, that each person can 
use up $72 worth of imported goods in supplying their necessi 
ties? Second, where is it possible for the revenue to come from 
to pay it if needed? Is it possible that it requires of imported 
goods $1004 a year for every negro & child in your district? I 
pray you revise your estimate and forward your agreement 
early. Please give me the statistics of imports into your dis- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 57 

trict for the last 3 months, designating the kind, quantity, and 
value of the goods, so that I may have something to guide me. 
Perhaps I may be wrong in this, but as present advised I can 
not agree to the importation of such an amount. I have the 

honor to be, T7 v -,. T T-< T 

Very res. Your obt. servt., B. F. B. 



From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, August 16, 1864 

DEAREST: You are brief, as you say, in your letter of August 
13th, and as I must be in writing this, for I cannot let the mail 
go without a letter to you. The varied arranging of household 
affairs, and Blanche s dresses, as all of it comes on me now, 
talking to and cheering Harriet, driving out, and listening to 
the children, receiving calls, and all that leaves me but little 
time. I have let it run along too far today to give you all the 
time I wish to. This will not happen often. You are my first 
charge, is it not so? Your letter of today troubles me a little, 
- you do not say a word about coming. And as yet you have 
but two of my letters, one from Fortress Monroe, another from 
N. Y. You should have the one from Baltimore before that. 
And all those letters I have written since, where are they? 
Tell me whenever you get one. In all, I have urged you to 
come home, and given reasons for it. I shall be very, very 
sorry if you do not come. The children all expect you. It is 
really necessary for your own affairs, even if your stay is brief. 
If you cannot come before, you surely can on WeitzePs return. 
And then I may go back with you to make some arrangements, 
even if I return in a week or two, before I take the family. 
Harriet is stretched out on your shaving chair on the back 
piazza, and Blanche is reading aloud to her. The children are 
at their studies, and I, upstairs at my desk writing to you. 
Soon as I finish this the horses will be brought round, drop this 
at the office, thendrive round to the stencil marker s and get 
a pattern stamped for Blanche s dress, carry it to Miss Robin 
son to be embroidered, then to Dracut to all the places. Mrs. 
Reed was not well last night. Blanche stayed with her last 
night. Arrange for a picnic tomorrow or the next day, then 
home, tea, and to bed at nine o clock. This is the story of a 
day. You asked me not to write gloomily if I could help it. 
But the best escape from it is in constant action, and in writing 
to you if I do not worry you. ^ affectionatd y t SARAH 



58 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the field, Aug. 16, 1864 

MY DEAREST SARAH: Another disappointment no letter 
last night but two since you have got home, and you have 
been gone 10 days. We have made a movement towards Deep 
Bottom, but have been stuck as usual. I expect to move again 
today. My poor Tenth Corps as usual have done all the 
fighting. 

The negroes made a very handsome charge last night 
not much results, however. Burnside has been relieved for his 
share of the mine disaster. Shaffer has gone to Washington to 
see about recruiting, and all that are to be looked after there. 
Is Fisher coming down? Col. Greene has gone home, and with 
his daughter will be over to see you in a few days. I do not 
know what will be done at Chicago, but I think the McClel- 
lan meeting at New York settled that he cannot be nominated. 
But too much of this. What are you doing? What are the 
boys doing? How are you feeling cheerful and happy? 
Indeed and indeed I think you ought so to do; if a husband s 
deep, deep love will be of any avail to make one happy. 

Write me every day, dearest, do. Mail is ready and I 
must go. 

Goodmorning my best wife. Kiss and goodmorning, 

BENJ. F. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. Carolina, in the Field, Aug. IQth, 1864 

Major LUDLOW, A.D.C., &c. 

I ENCLOSE to you a telegram from Lieut. Gen. Grant. The 
troops of Hancock and Birney are near White s Tavern on the 
Charles City Road, extending across the Central and New 
Market roads. 

That, you will see, brings the enemy at Dutch Gap in your 
front, directly between our troops and you. I wish you could 
get all the men you can spare under arms, and advance upon 
them, and try them, of course deploying your force a little 
to the right from the Gap, in order to avoid the Battery at 
Cox s house if it still remains there. I trust by this time you 
have got your gun mounted and unmasked, so that you can 
bear upon that Battery. 

At the time you advance, which should be done with a good 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 59 

deal of celerity and determination, with a strong line of skir 
mishers, to surprise the enemy, let your one hundred pounder 
open upon that Battery as well as you can. At the opening 
of your Artillery . . . [Remainder of letter missing^. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 



From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C. in the Field, Aug. 16, 64 

Lieut. Gen. GRANT, ComcTg., etc. 

As soon as arrangements could possibly be made to get the 
men rested from their work, at five o clock I put on board the 
steamer "Mount Washington," kindly loaned me by the Navy, 
nine hundred and fifty of the working party at Dutch Gap, and 
landed about three quarters of a mile below, at Aikens, by 
which I was enabled to turn the enemy s battery at H. Cox s, 
and under cover of the gunboats, which you heard, Major Lud- 
low advanced, turning the enemy s line, capturing it after a 
smart skirmish, in which we lost one man killed, and we now 
occupy the work on the brow of the hill which you saw. It 
is a very strong line for the enemy. 

Our line of pickets extend from Cox s house at the turn of the 
river above Dutch Gap to the north east, and about a half 
mile towards Three Mile Creek. 

We have not men enough to occupy all the works. The 
right has been occupied by rifle pits and one piece of artillery. 
The line extends to Three Mile Creek, but there is nothing now 
between us and Three Mile Creek. Major Ludlow thinks this 
position a very strong one, if occupied by the rebels to oppose 
any advance on our part. 

I have directed it to be held to-night. If you propose to go 
up to Deep Bottom to-morrow, you can easily examine it 
yourself, or one of the Engineers may be sent up to examine 
it. We have captured a prisoner there, and he says he is from 
one of the Beauregard s Brigades, (Johnson s old). 

I have a report from Col. Wooster Comd g. at Deep Bottom, 
that he advanced a strong skirmish line until his entire line 
passed Kingsland road, his right resting on Four Mile Creek, 
and advancing beyond it as far as W. H. Ammon s beyond the 
New Market Road, and his left beyond Buffin s house. He 
developed only a strong skirmish line and two or three com 
panies of infantry. He captured a prisoner of the 3rd North 
Carolina, which regiment belonged to Johnson s Division & 



60 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Stuart s Brigade, which was supposed to have been captured 
with its General. I have also another prisoner who claims to 
belong to the 10th Virginia of the same Brigade, who says his 
Brigade is out there, and has been encamped there for some 
time. At nine o clock Col. Wooster retired to his original 
position. With reference to this prisoner, I have never seen 
all the prisoners or deserters beside of this brigade on this 
line before, and know not where they come from. 

Col. Wooster had no killed and none seriously wounded. 
It would seem that there is no difficulty in advancing any body 
of troops in that direction. 

Our movement has certainly been successful as a reconnois- 

sance if nothing more. -n -r -o -\/r n i 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs., Aug. IGth, 1864 

Lieut. Col. HOWARD, Chief Q. M., BERMUDA 

You will select two (2) of the most worthless canal barges we 
have, if two have not already been selected, for the purpose 
of being sunk in the James. Of course take off all tackle and 
everything which is useless when sunk, and report them as early 
as possible to the Naval vessel, the "Miami," off City Point. 

Report to me when this order is executed. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 16, 1864 

HAVE any men been taken from Wilcox s div. within 3 
days? If not, have you any information fixing its presence 

here within this line? TT ^ T , n , 

U. S. GRANT, Li. Genl. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., in the Field, Aug. 16, 64, 10 A.M. 

Lieut. Gen. GRANT, Comd g., etc. 

Wilcox s Division is all here. Lane and McGowen are on 
north side of the James, where they have been for some weeks. 
Thomas and Scales are on the right of Pickett s Division in our 
front here, where they also have been for some six weeks or more. 
I had not heard from them for a day or two, but to-night have 
had a man from McGowan and have heard direct from Thomas 
and Scales. BENJ R BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 61 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 16, 1864, 10.20 A.M. 

OUR troops are now near White s tavern. You will perceive 
from the map this is between the enemy at New Market & 
Richmond. They still, however, have the road clear to 
Chapin s farm. If one thousand (1000) of your men at Dutch 
Gap could be sent under arms & threaten an advance, it might 
have the effect to start the enemy on the retreat. In making 
such demonstration, troops would have to start bearing down 
the river to avoid the batteries near Cox s House. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen. 

From General Butler 

TELEGRAM. 11.15 A.M., August IQth, 1864 

Lt. Genl. GRANT, CITY POINT 

YOUR despatch received. I have directed the available 
force, which will amount to about twelve hundred (1200) men, 
at Dutch Gap to make the demonstration you suggest. We 
shall move in that direction with considerable vigor. The 
only doubt I have is whether the enemy s iron-clads may be 
able to sweep the plain in front of Dutch Gap. I have ordered 
Colonel Wooster, Comd g at Deep Bottom, also to make an 
advance up the Kingsland road towards its junction with three 
(3) mile Creek as a feint, at the time we open at Dutch Gap. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs., Aug. 16th, 1864, 12.05 P.M. 

Brig. Gen. TURNER, Comd g. line of Defences 

THIS afternoon we propose to make a little movement from 
Deep Bottom and Dutch Gap, so that when you hear the row, 
you will know what it all means. Will you please see that the 
batteries at the Curtis House and at Crow s Nest be ready to 
open on the iron-clads if they open on the Hewlett House . . . 
[Remainder of despatch unintelligible^. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 



62 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs., Aug. 16th, 1864, 12.5 

Col. WOOSTER, Comd g. at DEEP BOTTOM 

PREPARE a strong skirmish line of your troops supported by a 
line of battle and make an advance upon the enemy with con 
siderable determination, at least as though to make them de 
velop their forces, when you hear the opening of heavy guns at 
Dutch Gap. That opening will be with a hundred pounder 
rifle and perhaps some light artillery. Press back the enemy 
as far as you can do with safety, moving up towards the Kings- 
land Road at the junction of three (3) mile Creek towards 
Buffin s house. Reply by telegraph how soon you can be ready. 
Perhaps you can use your own artillery. You will ascertain of 
course as nearly as you can where the left of Hancock s line 
rests, so as not to advance too far, leaving your right flank 
exposed. Your left will be protected by the Creek. 

The troops at Dutch Gap will be out three (3) miles away 
from your left before they advance, as they advance you will be 
approaching. See to it that there is no collision on your left. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gent. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, 6.10 P.M., Aug. 16, 1864 

WHAT was the result of the effort to advance at Dutch Gap? 
Quite a number of prisoners have been taken by Birney and 
Hancock to-day. But not without loss on our side. 

U. S. GRANT, Li. Genl. 

From General Grant 

CITY POINT, Aug. IQth, 1864, 6.30 P.M. 

To Gen. BUTLER, DUTCH GAP 

IT is now getting so late, & the troops under Hancock 
being at a standstill, it will be necessary to use caution about 

advancin - U. S. GRANT, Li. Gen. 

Upon back is written 

THIS despatch has gone by signal to you at Dutch Gap, but 
for fear of accidents I send it by Mounted Orderly to Deep 
Bottom. GEO A KENSEL> AcL Ch f 9 staff 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 63 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 16, 1864, 11.30 P.M. 

IF you have men to spare to hold the position secured by Maj . 
Ludlow until I can get up there, I will have the ground exam 
ined, and if it is practicable to get through, will transfer a 
portion of the force with Gen. Hancock. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gent. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, 8.30 A.M. Aug. 17, 1864 

I HAVE directed Gen. Barnard & Col. Comstock to go up to 
Dutch Gap, & thought I would not go up myself, they have 
not yet started, but will go as soon as they get breakfast. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Genl. 

From President Lincoln 

Executive Mansion, WASHINGTON, August 17, 1864, 10.30 A.M. 

Lieutenant-General GRANT, CITY POINT, VA. 

I HAVE seen your despatch expressing your unwillingness 
to break your hold where you are. Neither am I willing. 
Hold on with a bull-dog grip, and chew and choke as much as 

P ssible - A. LINCOLN 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., Aug. nth, 1864 

Lt. Genl. GRANT, Comd g., etc. 

I AM about starting for Bermuda to take a boat for Dutch 
Gap. Will Gen l. Barnard meet me there and accompany me? 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Aug. nth, 1864, 10.40 P.M. 

TELEGRAM received. The most vigilant watchfulness will 
be had to ascertain any withdrawal, and the promptest move 
ment made to take advantage of it. 

Maj. Ludlow has withdrawn without loss from his advanced 
position near Dutch Gap. The firing you hear is from the 
gunboats upon the rams. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

1 "Abraham Lincoln," p. 192. 



64 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Aug. 17. 1864 

Brig. Gen. TURNER, Comd g line of Defences 

I SEND enclosed a telegram from the Lt. General Command 
ing for your information. Take every possible precaution and 
device to have the enemy watched to see if any movement is 
made, if at all it will be to-morrow at from six to ten o clock & 
thereafter, probably. Please return telegram at your leisure. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., in the Field, Aug. 17, 64 

Lieut. Gen. GRANT, Comd g., etc. 

WE have now on the north side of the James, Field s Division 
of Longstreet s Corps, Lane s and Connor s Brigades of Wil- 
cox s Div. of Hill s Corps, and Mahone s Div. of same Corps 
with Bushrod Johnson s old Brigade of Beauregard s Com 
mand. 

Mahone s Div. moved across there from our front at Peters 
burg on Sunday night, making a long detour in order to avoid 
observation from my signal tower. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, August 17th, 64 

DEAREST: Your letter of today does not give me much en 
couragement that you will come. But as there are several 
of mine now on the way still urging, I do not yet despair. This 
is the time for you to come if at all, for the summer is almost 
over, and there never could be more reasons for your coming. 
I am afraid Dr. McCormick will stay away so long, and so 
many will be sick, you will be unwilling to give him leave to 
come to us. I hope you will send him if possible. It would be 
cheering to see him, he suggests so many things to alleviate 
and encourage. Harriet would be delighted, and we should all 
be very glad. Trebly so if you will come with him. Fisher 
thinks you will come. Dr. McCormick, he likes very much, 
and would, like the rest of us, be very glad to have his opinion 
of Harriet. 

Today we had arranged for a picnic, all the families. We are 
determined with one consent not to sink down into silence and 
gloom, " To count the wretched minutes o er," but to look on the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 65 

bright, smiling days as our own, and bask in their sweet beauty 
while the season last. Today we were disappointed. The 
rain has been steadily falling, washing every particle of dust 
from the leaves and grass. When the wind sweeps over them, 
they lift and shake as if they felt their freshness, and rejoiced 
in their beauty. The dry earth is drinking, drinking, as though 
she could never get too much. It is so pleasant to look at it, 
after the long drought, that \ve do not mind deferring the picnic. 
I have so much to do that I am rather glad than otherwise. 
I have been out in the rain to Mrs. Shed s for Blanche s dress 
to Leland s for another to be marked for embroidery, to the post 
office for your letter. Home to tea, and this evening writing 
you. The children, Harriet, and Mr. Owen are playing cards. 
And you, I wonder if you have had this storm, or is it passing 
down to you? How those dusty trees and the arid plain will 
welcome it! You will all be revived and cheered. The rain 
will fall upon you "like blessed dews from Heaven." So may 
other blessings follow. They will perhaps, if we are ready for 
them. You are very busy but have time to love us a little. 
I do not think I write gloomily. Do you think so? 

Yours, SARAH 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Aug. llth, 1864 

MY DEAREST LITTLE WIFE: I have got your letter describing 
the picnic. You do not know how homesick you make me feel. 
I would I were with you, and need not assure you that every 
effort a man can make will be done to bring it about, if only for 
a day. We had some pretty severe righting here on the other 
side of the James. The 10th Corps under Birney carried the 
enemy s works above New Market near White s Tavern, and 
captured three hundred prisoners. I also moved out from 
Dutch Gap, you will see it on the map, and carried some of the 
enemy s works. In my movement we made no loss the loss 
in the other was heavy, say 1000 killed and wounded. These 
operations, however, must sooner or later come to an end for 
want of men. They are going home all the time, and none 
coming back. The weakness of the Government is fearful. 
W T hy they should do this? Something must give way some 
where. This cannot go on. You do not write me how the 
boys are getting on in their studies. How do you like Mr. 
Owen. You have not spoken of him. Is he agreeable? Is he 
well-mannered ? 



66 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Is Blanche in any danger? Take care! Unless he is worthy 
and well-bred, and talented, and then no care need be taken. 

Poor Harriet! it seems so sad, and so good a woman, too, to 
be so afflicted. My very heart bleeds for her. Do all you can 
to make her happy. 

Now, dearest, do you suppose that the sentence in your letter 
which made me most homesick was, "I would like to throw 
my arms about you and kiss you." I wish not they were long 
enough to do it here, because we should then be too far apart, 
but that I were with you close, close, close. 

Truly yours, BENJ. F. B. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, August llth, 1864 

DEAREST: I have not written lately at evening, but I have 
learned this afternoon that the mail for N. York goes out but 
once a day, five o clock in the afternoon. My letters have been 
put in the office after this hour, and therefore would not go out 
till the following day. But this does not explain why you have 
not received them, for that would only make them a day later. 
And it does not appear that you have any yet from home. 
Webster writes that Col. Shaffer is coming somewhere East. 
If others can leave, why not you? I suppose he means your 
Shaffer. I have a plan in my mind, that I will explain to you. 
I do not give entire credit to the Doctor s opinions. Harriet 
is better than when at the Fortress. Her suffering is not in 
the breast, but back, and down into the hips. The Sulphur 
Springs at Sharon are said to produce wondrous effects for all 
aches and rheumatic affections. I shall ask Kimball, and if 
he does not object I will take Harriet and go out there for a 
fortnight. Blanche, too, if she likes to go. I must be doing 
something, and I know this would benefit me and Blanche. 
I have great faith in it for Harriet. Now I shall put this by 
for a little, if you will give the least possible hope that you will 
come. I have urged greatly in every letter written. That is 
the first desire and thought. I pray you gratify it, if it be possi 
ble, or not. All things are possible. If this wish is not to be 
granted, then, when I have learned that, I will go to the Springs 
and telegraph you the time I will be there. If you can spare 
Dr. McCormick I think he would be very glad to join us there, 
for his own pleasure. He would be able to direct what Harriet 
could bear, and would be of infinite service, even if his stay 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 67 

was short. It will take nearly a week for you to get this and 
return me an answer back. But I shall know from your letters 
day by day (and by this time you are getting mine urging you 
so much) whether you will come or not. If you do not, I shall 
delay but little, for the season is passing, and it seems to me I 
never had so many cares as have fallen on me now. Your 
mother was here this evening. She seems to be in perfect 
health. Old Mr. Wyman is dead, last night, and his wife is 
sick of the same disease he died of. I believe it is not thought 
she will live. If they should pass away together in that way it 
would be a blessed close to a long life, and but little to regret. 
You are still in that tent. I wonder if you really think often 
of me. I suppose there is not much time for that, as you are 
seldom alone. But at evening sometimes. It is very kind in 
you to write me every day. And truly I need it. But no 
matter about that. You understand it very well. 

Ever most truly yours, SARAH 

From Colonel Shaffer to General Butler 

Metropolitan Hotel, NEW YORK, August Ylth, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: I arrived here Tuesday morning having 
left Monday evening. When I arrived there I found several 
persons that my brother had telegraphed to come to New York, 
and after I had seen everybody I cared to see I found I could 
get off on the evening train by not going to see Stanton, so I 
concluded that inasmuch as my business with him was only 
an excuse to go to Washington, I would pass on. Conse 
quently, I did nothing with any Government officials. I made 
up my mind that Mr. Lincoln was determined not to make any 
changes at present, so I did not want to see him. Governor 
Ford came to New York with me. He has been sick in bed 
ever since he came here but he has seen many men, and talked 
plain to all. 

He tells them that the country has gone to hell unless Mr. 
Lincoln can be beat by a good loyal man. Ford telegraphed 
Ashley to meet him here to-morrow. It was thought better 
than for me to go to Ohio. I have seen and talked with nearly 
all the leading men in the city, and they all are of one opinion 
in regard to Lincoln. They consider him defeated. "Now 
what is to be done?" is the question, I put to all. And nearly 
all agree that there is but one course, that is, get a Call pre 
pared, hold it until the Chicago Convention meets, and if that 



68 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Convention nominates a Peace Man or adopts a Peace plat 
form, then ask the War Democracy to join and issue the Call. 
I can t write you the different opinions of the different persons, 
but I can say that my original views take well with all, and 
many of them are at work. There is to be a meeting at Mr. 
Opdyke s on Friday. Chase will be there, many prominent 
men are invited. I have an invitation and will be there if in 
town. I had an interview with Weed to-day of two hours, and 
it was very satisfactory. He says he thinks Lincoln can be 
prevailed upon to draw off. Swett, who I sent to Maine for, 
is of the same opinion. Weed says Lincoln told him substan 
tially that he would not be in the way of success. Swett goes 
to Washington to-morrow night to tell Lincoln that it is the 
judgment of all the best politicians in this city and elsewhere, 
that he can t carry three states, and ask him to be prepared to 
draw off immediately after the Chicago Convention. Nearly 
all agree that the Baltimore Platform is a mistake, that we have 
reached that point where we simply want to make one con 
dition. That is, the restoration of the Union. Weed, Swett, 
Wilks, Ford, J. Austin Stevens, and in fact all I have seen agree 
to this. Weed will go to see you next week, and possibly we 
will both start Saturday. My brother had got matters run 
ning pretty well when I got here, and had called a number of 
persons from the country to town. I may possibly have him 
remain here. 

You can depend that work is begun, and a Call that will 
startle the country will come out Sept. 1st. I enclose you an 
article from Forny, which is suggestive. I have all the officers 
in Congressional National Union Convention rooms right - 
they pass the word around, don t commit yourself but wait 
development. This word is now being passed everywhere. 

Nearly all speak of you as the man, but I studiously avoid 
bringing your name in. I insist that when we get a convention 
called, will be time enough to speak of candidates. This I 
consider the best policy. 

To-morrow I will see Gay and Greely and Raymond. Ray 
mond says Lincoln has gone up, all we can expect of him is to 
get him to help choke (others) off the track. Strange as it may 
appear, I believe Lincoln will decline. I understand from good 
authority that he has no hope of election. 

All agree that it is too late for you to go into the Cabinet 
if offered. I will get to the Fort Sunday morning and will go 
direct to the front. Then I will be able to let you know all. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 69 

I have the greatest trouble in keeping the different cliques here 
from getting control of matters. Each is jealous of the other, 
but I tell you this city and state of New York politicians can 
learn many things from country chaps. I am cheerful at the 
prospect but not sanguine. I believe all will go right. 

Yours Truly, J. W. SHAFFER 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., Aug. ISth, 1864, 10.50 A.M. 

Lt. U. S. GRANT, Co-md g., etc. CITY POINT 

DID Warren make the move that was contemplated? We 
have heard nothing on our front. I have heard no report of any 
result from the rapid firing at Petersburg. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 18, 1864 

THE firing last night was nothing more, I believe, than the 
enemy feeling to ascertain if we had evacuated. Warren 
moved this morning at 8.30, the enemy s pickets were falling 
back before him. ^ g GRANT> u Qml 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C. 12 M., in the Field, Aug. 18, 64 

Brig. Gen. TURNER, Comd g. Line of Entrenchments 

WARREN moved this morning at eight thirty (8.30), the 
enemy s pickets falling back before him. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl., Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. ISth, 1864, 12.15 P.M. 

OUR forces reached the Weldon road, meeting nothing but 
cavalry. They captured a few men belonging to the 7th 
Confederate Cavalry. ^ ^ GRANT> u Gemral 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, August IStk, 1864 

I SEE the str. "New York" has arrived. Is she going to 
Aiken s Landing or elsewhere under the flag-of -truce? 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen. 



70 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., in the Field, Aug. ISth, 64 

Lieut. Gen. GRANT, CITY POINT 

STEAMER "New York" is to go to Aiken s Landing under 
flag-of-truce, at which place she is to receive certain com 
munications and special exchanges, among whom is Gen. 
Bartlett, and to arrange a meeting between Commissioner Ould 
and myself for a conference in regard to the treatment of our 
prisoners and some cases of retaliation. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Grant 

CITY POINT, VA., August ISth, 1864 

Major-General BUTLER, Commanding, &c. 

I AM opposed to exchanges being made until the whole 
matter is put on a footing giving equal advantages to us with 
those given to the enemy. In the meantime, I direct that no 
flags-of-truce be sent to the enemy, nor any arrangements or 
agreements entered into with him without my first being fully 
advised of what is being done, and yielding my consent to it. 

The steamer "New York" will not be permitted to proceed 
to Aiken s Landing until I receive a report of the full object of 
the mission and the load she now has on board. 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 

Official Records, Series II, Vol. 7, p. 606. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Aug. 18, 64, 4 P.M. 

TELEGRAM received. No exchange has been made or will be 
made by me which will give the enemy any advantage. To 
show that my views and the Lt. General s are in exact accord 
ance, I will send letter written to Gen. Hitchcock to-day upon 
this subject, with the endorsements upon it. I have ex 
changed nobody but wounded men since the first of May, 
except surgeons, non-competent, and a few cases of special 
exchange. 

A full report will be made to the Lt. General of all that was 
intended to be done in the matter. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Com. of Exchange 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 71 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Hdqrs. Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the Field, Va., August 18th, 1864 

Major-General HITCHCOCK, Commissioner of Prisoners, 

WASHINGTON, D. C. 

GENERAL : I have received one or two indorsements from you 
which say in substance that "it is desirable to have all our 
prisoners exchanged." I agree (to) that if all means all. But 
does the Government intend to abandon the colored troops? 
That is the only question now pending. All others can be 
settled. From my conversation with the lieutenant-general, 
he does not deem it desirable to move from the position taken 
on that question. I will again call the subject to the attention 
of Mr. Ould, and obtain an interview with him if possible. I 
have the honor to be, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, BENJ. F. BUTLER, 
Major-General and Commissioner of Exchange 

Official Records, Series II, Vol. 7, p. 606. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 18, 1864 

I AM satisfied that the object of your interview, besides hav 
ing proper sanction, meets with my entire approval. I have 
seen from Southern papers that a system of retaliation is going 
on in the South which they keep from us, & which we should 
stop in some way. 

On the subject of exchange, however, I differ from Gen. 
Hitchcock. It is hard on our men held in Southern prisons 
not to exchange them, but it is humanity to those left in the 
ranks to fight our battles. Every man released on parole or 
otherwise becomes an active soldier against us at once, either 
directly or indirectly. If we commence a system of exchange 
which liberates all prisoners taken, we will have to fight on 
until the whole south is exterminated. If we hold those 
caught, they amount to no more than dead men. At this 
particular time to release all rebel prisoners North would 
insure Sherman s defeat & would compromise our safety here. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen I. 



72 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the field, Aug. 18, 1864 

MY DEAR SARAH: I got two letters from you last night. 
The mails are irregular. 

The proposition you make about becoming a member of the 
church is a most serious one. I do not wish to throw a single 
thought in the way as an obstacle. Mr. Edson s requirements 
may be few, but are the requirements of the church so? Can 
you say the Creed (I believe) with a full and firm faith? It is 
much to say. Can you believe the dogmas of the church? 
That your life and thoughts are pure enough for the church or 
any where else I have never a doubt. The point is, do you 
believe in the "Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church, the 
remission of sins," as taught by the church? If you do, and I 
do not say one word against your so believing, not even ex 
pressing a doubt, then be a member of the church but not 
with any expectation of finding any more contentment in it 
than now unless you become a devotee, and that is a species of 
mania. 

This has been tried in all ages of the world and failed. The 
reasoning mind without faith desires something further, be 
yond, more certain and convincing. The very doubts engen 
dered by the connection with the church will become painful. 
If I could believe, I would become a member of the church, but 
alas ! I haven t faith. You may have. 

Our movement on the north of the James of which you will 
hear has resulted in nothing thus far. I am afraid it will not. 
One day is so like another here that I can write you nothing that 
you have not seen when here. 

I will do all I can to come home for a day or two as soon as this 
matter settles down a little from what it is now. 

You say in your note, quiet, tranquil, almost happy. Why 
not happy? Ymn ^ BENJ R 



From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., in the Field, Aug. I8th, 64, 1.30 P.M. 

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

I HAVE to acknowledge the receipt of a communication from 
the Sec y of War covering the statement of the Sec y of State of 
Delaware, alleging that the recruiting State Agent at Fortress 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 73 

Monroe has been prohibited by an order of the Commander of 

this Department from mustering in recruits at that recruiting 

station, and having them credited to the State of Delaware. 

No such order has been -issued. The statement is untrue. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., in the Field, Aug. 18, 64, 1.40 P.M. 

Brig. Gen. WILD, NEWPORT NEWS 

THE Sec y of State of the State of Delaware says the State 
Agent is now at Fortress Monroe with recruits which the order 
of the Comd g Gen l. of the Department prohibits him from 
having mustered and credited to that State, and that such 
also is the case with other Agents there. 

Please report to me by telegraph if there is any foundation in 
fact for this report. No such order has been issued. I have 
not proposed to allow negroes to be taken from Fort Monroe, 
where they are free, into the slave state of Delaware, where 
they may be sold into slavery. As you know, all recruits can 
be mustered in and credited to the State, but the men cannot 
be carried off. If there is no foundation in fact for this state 
ment, arrest this man & send him to me. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Aug. IStk, 1864 

Lieut. Gen. IT. S. GRANT, Comd g. etc. CITY POINT 

WE are garrisoning Fort Powhatan & Fort Pocahontas (Wil 
son s Landing) with 100 days men whose time is now quite 
out. We want two regiments for that purpose. There must 
be now a large surplus of new regiments of hundred days men 
and others in and about Washington and Baltimore. 

Can we not have some of these new one hundred days 
regiments ordered down? It will not do to lose either of these 
points. It would shut us off from the river. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 18, 1864 

WILSON S Wharf & Fort Powhatan must be held. No troops, 
however, can be had from Washington or Balto. They are 



74 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

calling on me for troops to take the" place of theirs now soon 
to be discharged. You will have to send some of your colored 

troops< . U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen l. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., in the Field, Aug. 18, 64, 3.45 P.M. 

Capt. McKiM, A. Q. M., BOSTON, MASS. 

I AM waiting very anxiously for some shells from Lowell. 
Have they been forwarded to you? Can they not be forwarded 

to me? BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., in the Field, Aug. 18, 64, 3.50 P.M. 

Lieut. Gen. GRANT, Comd g. etc., CITY POINT 

I AM informed from the lookout at Dutch Gap that a brigade 
of troops are crossing Cox s Ferry, going east. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, August 18th, 1864 

DEAREST: I have your letter of Aug. 16th this evening. 
And you say you have up to that time but two letters from me 
written since I reached home. I am quite discouraged at it. 
I have written you every day since I left the fort. But one 
exception, while I was travelling between N. York and Lowell. 
There should be twelve letters now without this. I think the 
fault is at the Fortress. Crane was here today. I told him 
you did not get my letters. He said his mail was carefully 
distributed, and in time, that on one day when he was there, 
your clerk took away the letters and dropped several of them 
in the street. He was in drink and lost them. There may be 
some trouble of that kind now. Ask Webster to look to it. 
Crane will go back tomorrow. Fisher will be at the Fortress 
the first of September, when Florence returns to school. All 
the wishes I have expressed, my earnest appeals to have you 
come home even for a few days, are of no avail, you have not 
received the letters. I am deeply annoyed. No matter how 
important it may be that I should get a message to you quickly, 
there is no certainty when it will reach you. I have given half 
this letter to the subject, and I have no idea when you will get 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 75 

it. I wanted to write a little on political movements, but I 
do not know that I am well enough informed for the last weeks. 
It seems to me if you could come North yourself there would 
be an advantage in it. Shaffer is very well for Western move 
ments, but he can do nothing in the East anywhere, nor do I 
know a man who is your friend that is big enough for the work. 
It seems to me if you could come in contact with leading men 
yourself, it would be better. Shaffer can never do the work. 
There is a great chance, if Lincoln and Fremont could be made 
to see that theirs is hopeless. 

I wanted to talk with Fisher about it today at the picnic, 
but there seemed no chance. I will see him tomorrow, though 
I do not always think his views correct, I can draw my own 
conclusions from the information he sometimes gives. You 
seem to me to be lost down there at this time, as I do not think 
there is a possibility of any great achievements. It seems to me 
a day in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, etc. would be well, 
but I may be mistaken. You have an excuse for coming, sick 
ness in your family. When I sat down here, not one word of 
what I have written was in my mind. I was weary trying to 
make others cheerful. Despondent, almost bitter with the 
tasks put upon me. But it has partly gone. Tomorrow I 
shall be ready to begin again, active and cheerful I hope. 
Enough so for others uses; and therein I shall find my own use 
and content with it. This is not very good, but I am tired 
packing baskets, talking, planning, and altogether the shutting 
a door, a sharp-toned voice makes my nerves quiver. Now 
they have all crept into bed. The silence soothes me. The 
night is beautiful, a full moon, and fresh earth from the heavy 
rain. The picnic was very pleasant, I think, to most of them. 
I did not get quite attuned to it. You cannot always. Yet 
the time passed pleasantly. Mrs. Read proposes to take 
Harriet to Europe. But none of our plans are fixed for cer 
tainties. Is there aught certain on earth? Yes, some things 
I believe, such as your Most affectionate Wim 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 19, 1864 

Do you understand the force crossing Chapin s farm to 
wards Cox s Ferry to be moving towards Hancock, or towards 
Petersburg? ^ g> GRANT 



76 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Aug. 19th, 1864, 10.15 A.M. 

I UNDERSTAND the movement to be toward Petersburg. 
Will send and ascertain and send word to you. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. 

From General Butler 

Aug. 19th, 1864, 10 A.M. 

Li. Col. COMSTOCK, CITY POINT 

BRIDGE will be ready at 8 o clock P.M. There are two ap 
proaches on the north side of the river, one very steep directly 
up the hill, the other around the base of the bluff. The last 
fit for artillery & wagons, the first entirely practicable for in 
fantry. I would suggest that Gen. Hancock send a staff officer 
to direct the wagons and artillery by the latter road, as if the 
former gets choked, it will entirely block the column by that 

route B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Arg. 19, 1864 

HAVE you positive evidence of the presence of Pickett s 
division anywhere on our front? I ask because Gen. Halleck 
telegraphs that evidence which has heretofore proved reliable 
reports the whole of Longstreet s corps moving from Culpepper 
into the valley. I know Field s div. is not here. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., in the Field, Aug. 19, 64, 8.30 P.M. 

Lieut. Gen. GRANT, Comd g., &c. 

I HAVE no positive evidence of Pickett s Division lately. 
That a portion of it withdrew on Monday & Tuesday I have 
no doubt, because some dismounted cavalry was among a 
portion of the picket line in our front. But yesterday after 
noon troops came back into the Rebel lines who had been there 
before, & because one of the Captains in talking with an officer 
of the picket line stated to me a circumstance which happened 
to his company two weeks ago. I believe that but a brigade 
or two of Pickett s Division is before us. I am surprised at 
your information that Field s Division is not here. Most of 
the prisoners captured by the 10th Corps were from brigades of 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 77 

that Division. The Richmond Sentinel, which I sent you 
yesterday, speaks of Benning s Brigade and another, which I 
do not recollect, both of which are in Field s Div., having made 
a charge on our line on Wednesday. You will see by the inter 
cepted signal message of the Rebels that Lane s Brig, is near 
the Appomattox. 

From General Grant 

CITY POINT, 9.30 P.M., Aug. 19th, 1864 

To Generals BUTLER & HANCOCK 

HOKES , Heth s, & Mahone s divisions came out & attacked 
Warren this evening. A heavy fight ensued with considerable 
loss in prisoners captured on each side. As we understood, 
Johnson s division is also at Petersburg. This leaves Wilcox, 
Pickett, & Field, with the possibility of part of Pickett s divi 
sion, gone to the valley to guard from Petersburg to the James, 
and to confront you on the north side. There must be a weak 

point somewhere. TT c n T , n 7 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. General 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT 9.45 P.M., Aug. 19, 1864 

MY despatch as written reads, "I know Field s div. is here." 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen 9 1. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 19, 1864 

THE Richmond Enquirer of today says "official intelligence 
was rec d on yesterday announcing a disastrous surprise to a 
portion of our troops in the valley at an early hour on Sunday 
morning. It appears that McCausland & Bradley, Johnson 
comd g were in Moorefield in Hardy Co., where they were rest 
ing after their hard work of the previous week. On Sunday 
morning while they were sleeping AverilPs command made a 
descent upon them, capturing four hundred men, 900 horses, 
& four pieces of arty. The remainder of our two commands 
scattered among the mountains." Washn. papers of yester 
day contain similar statements as coming from Sheridan. 
Further than this I have no intelligence. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen l. 



78 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Aug. 19th, 1864 

MY DEAREST WIFE : We have made one demonstration north 
of the James, not to take Richmond, although that might have 
been done if we could move with any celerity, but to draw Lee 
away while we struck the Weldon Railroad, which was done 
yesterday below Petersburg. We have had a pretty sharp 
fight are losing heavily. What we are to do for men I do 
not know. They are going home all the time, and none com 
ing back. The enemy are wearing out just as fast. That is 
some comfort. 

I get your letters regularly now. They got delayed. The 
mails were out of joint. Don t write me to come home any 
more. You make me so homesick. I shall have nostalgia 
like a Swiss soldier. 

Kiss Blanche for me. Tell her she must keep up her reading 
and study, read history now, and especially read a little law. 
Read Blackstone. She will get interested in it, I know. It 
will tell her more about the Knights and Barons than she can 
get from all the novels. Keep the boys steadily at their 
lessons nothing so good as steady discipline. If Mr. Owen 
can drill, I wish he would drill them thoroughly with Paul s 
light musket at the school of the soldier. I will come home 
if I can, and you know my motto, "Where there s a will there s 
a way." 

I hope you will be happy; you should be, at home with all 
around you pleasant. It seems to me now Paradise. Don t 
believe the silly newspaper stories about my sickness. I was 
with a headache caused by being all day out in the sun, on 
Sunday, and forthwith I am sick by the newspapers. I wish 
I could be reasonably sick, so as to get home. 

Your husband and lover, BENJ. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the Field, Va., Aug. IQth, 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Sec y of War, WASHINGTON, D. C. 

SIR: In relation to the claim of Lieut. Sam l. A. Chambers, I 
beg leave to report the following facts. 

When I took command of this Department I found an or 
ganization attempted to be established, known as the 1st Loyal 
Virginians ; and a few officers mustered in, who were engaged in 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 79 

recruiting for that organization. After the most stringent 
efforts made in every direction in the Department, we were 
never able to obtain of recruits but one Company, which Com 
pany is now doing duty about the light-houses on the eastern 
shore. 

There were more than enough officers for one company. 
Lieut. Chambers had already been mustered in. I examined 
into the merits of the various officers who had been recruited, 
and I am of opinion that Lieut. Chambers did not do his duty 
as a recruiting officer, but, on the contrary, spent his time in a 
way not very creditable to himself as an officer, on the eastern 
shore, where he was recruiting. 

Finding that there were not loyal Virginians enough in this 
Dept. either to make a restored civil government or fill a 
regiment of loyal Virginians, I have so far as in me lies put a 
stop to both concerns, and accepted the resignation of Lieut. 
Chambers. Had he done his full duty I should have been in 
clined to recommend his payment, and upon [this] his claim 
must rest without any recommendation of mine. 

(BENJ. F. BUTLER) 

From James Parton to General Butler 

NEW YORK, 182 E. 18th St., August IQth, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL : Having in vain attempted to reach you 
by telegraph from the Isles of Shoals, I now endeavor to get 
word to you from New York by means of the U. S. M. 

I received your telegram of Aug. 3rd on the 8th of August, 
at the Isles aforesaid. I was puzzled. Was it then too late? 
Should I start immediately? Would a week hence do as well? 
Was it business or pleasure? After much cogitation, I sent a 
telegram ashore for information, no answer yet. Yesterday I 
reached home and found your invitation to us both to come and 
see you, Mrs. Parton to remain at the Fortress, I to go on to 
you; then all was clear. But in the papers of the day before 
it was stated that Mrs. Butler had gone home to Lowell. So I 
was all at sea again. Nothing remains but to wait for further 
elucidation. Mrs. Parton is very desirous to go, and I, of 
course, regard you as my commander. 

Meanwhile, Mrs. Parton being completely exhausted with 
the heat and the baby, I am going to take her, for one week 
only, to the Catskill Mountain House. On my return we hope 
to find your final orders, which we shall hasten to obey. 



80 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I enclose my little piece from the Ledger. In the Tribune 
of to-day Mr. Snead airs his grievances. I have only to oppose 
to him the order of July 31, which arrived during my absence, 
and which I will submit to the editor of the paper. 

Rumors abound that you are going to be Secretary of War. 
It is a bad time to take hold, but I hold fast to the belief that if 
anybody can help us out of the scrape, you can. Everybody 
seems to think that the administration is doomed. I say it still 
depends upon the operations in the field. 

At the Isles of Shoals, I met Franklin Pierce. He says a 
truce and a negotiation would result in re-union. He spoke 
darkly of private information that much encouraged him to 
think so. But what he would do in case the negotiation should 
not succeed, I could not ascertain. He is a very agreeable and 
companionable man. He was in mourning for Hawthorne, 
and was accompanied by his (Hawthorne s) son, a fine, sturdy, 
young sophomore from Harvard. I understood Gen. Pierce to 
go for No disruption of the Union on any terms; but I may not 
have understood him, and we were much interrupted and were 
rocking about in a small boat. Ever yours, 

Very truly, JAS. PARTON 



From General Butler 

SMITHFIELD, VA., August 19th, 1864 

Rev. MOSES J. KELLY, WATERVILLE, ME. 

DEAR SIR: I am very much obliged for your description of 
our commencement, and I am very glad to hear of the proposal 
to endow our college, and wish I could aid it in the manner you 
suggest. Certainly the donation of Mr. Colby was a most 
munificent one, which I wish I had the power to imitate. The 
difficulty is that I get credit for wealth I do not possess. The 
almost fabulous amount attributed to me by the newspapers is 
simply fabulous, and could only have been accumulated by that 
peculation and mal-administration which has been attributed 
to me. My sworn income returns are on file, my oath as to 
my brother s estate is also on record, and I need not assure 
you that they represent the true state of affairs. A donation 
to my Alma Mater such as you suggest would to any reflecting 
mind be proof positive of the truth of the allegations. No man 
not a merchant and most fortunate in mercantile speculations 
at that, at forty-five ought to be in condition to make such 
donations as you suggest, and as Mr. Colby has made from the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 81 

fortunate gains of a long mercantile life. Repeating that I 
have no such wealth as would enable me to do it, yet if I had I 
should hardly make a public exhibition of that amount, to 
convict myself of the accusations of my enemies, yet at a proper 
time, in aid of the accumulation of the fund, I shall be willing 
to give such reasonable amount as a private gentleman with a 
competence ought to give to such an object. I am 

Very truly Yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From J. K. Herbert to General Butler 

Metropolitan Hotel, Aug. 19, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have this day given my friend S. M. 
Gladwin, Esq., of Brooklyn, a letter of introduction to you. 
I mentioned him to you some time since, and you said let him 
come down and see what he wants to do, and if it is right he shall 
have permission, or words to that effect. Col. S. has given 
him the necessary passes. 

The application of Mr. Dayton for permission to cut wood 
suggested to me that that is probably the best thing there is 
to do down there now. Mr. G. will look into it. Col. S. 
knows nothing about it neither do I but if there be im 
proprieties in the enterprise we do not know them. 

It is Mr. G s daughter for whom I have you engaged as a 
partner at the Inauguration Ball that does not just now look 
so distant as it did. 

The whole family all right. 

I have neglected to write anything from here because I knew 
Shaffer was writing you, and he knows all I do & "more also." 

I think light breaks through upon us I hope for great re 
sults from the Opdyke meeting to-night. 

The Gov. has not left his room since he came here he 
improves slowly. ^ ^ ^ j R HERBERT 



From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, 

FORT MONROE, VA., Aug. 19, 1864 

To MRS. JULIA GARDINER TYLER 

MADAME: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
your letter of the 15th of August containing a request that your 
farm should be put under the charge of your overseer, Mr. J. 
C. Tyler, which request I have referred to the Comdg. Officer 
at Fort Pocahontas, Wilson s Landing, and await his report. 

VOL. V 6 



82 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I should not think it advisable to send a pass for a young 
negro woman to go to Charles City County with the expecta 
tion of returning, for the purpose of visiting her friends. I am 
afraid you would not see her again. 

I have directed General Marston to return the furniture to 
your home, which I understand has been retained by him at 
your request. It may not be too safe in the house, but we 
have no storage for it in camp. 

A portion of your letter excites surprise, and you will pardon 
me for comment thereon. 

I had the honor to inform you in a former note that Annie 
Maria Tyler, niece of ex-President Tyler, had married Private 
Kick of the 2d. New York, Mounted Rifles of the United States 
Army. To that you reply that "the circumstances by which 
she was surrounded had no doubt driven her to desperation 
into the commission of an act which I fear will not much better 
her condition. I judge from the character of her last letter 
she was bordering upon insanity. The terrible scenes she 
depicted had evidently banished reason from its throne. 
Otherwise, I think she would have braved the starvation which 
by her account stared her in the face, or met death in any 
other form, rather than have taken the step of which you 
inform me." 

To all this, which you will pardon me for calling rhodomon- 
tade, I take leave to answer first. If the soldier of our Union 
was brave, loyal and worthy and of that you knew nothing 
either for or against him when you wrote, why, Madame, brave 
death either by "starvation or in any other form" rather than 
marry him? If you mean because of Mrs. Kick s rebellious 
proclivities, then did it become you writing to an United States 
officer, asking favors from the United States while you your 
self are living under its protection, to say so? The first knowl 
edge I had of Mrs. Kick s marriage was in a letter from her 
wherein she pleaded with great earnestness, and apparently 
with full powers of reasoning, that no punishment should be 
inflicted upon her husband for his dereliction of duty in not 
joining his regiment, alleging it was partly her fault. If she 
is mad, there is certainly great method in her madness. If 
she was starving, it must have been about the middle of June, 
when Private Kick, a straggler from the United States Army, 
came into her neighborhood, and was entertained at her 
house, as he was separated from his regiment. . . . How ra 
tions which you allege were not sufficient to keep one from 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 83 

starvation, sufficed for two, I do not undertake to determine, 
but I pray you mark the date at which Private Kick first ar 
rived there, because I am informed and believe that. ... I 
should be sorry to grieve you, Madam, but while the report 
of his officers is that . . . but I wish you to be distinctly in 
formed there has been no prospect of, or occasion for starva 
tion on the part of Miss Tyler. General Marston, the Comdg. 
officer at Fort Pocahontas, within a mile or two of the dwell 
ing of Miss Tyler, has been instructed to do and is willing to 
furnish all indigent people in his neighborhood with means of 
subsistence, and is now so furnishing them, and to him Mrs. 
Kick has neither made application for subsistence or assistance, 
nor has she made any other application to me than an appeal 
in favor of her husband, whom she denominates "her natural 
protector." 

I should not have taken the trouble to pursue this unpleasant 
subject with you at length except that I had seen that you have 
chosen to take it into the newspapers, and if any more publica 
tions are thought necessary about it, I shall feel obliged to 
publish our correspondence. It is but fair to Mrs. Kick, how 
ever, to say now that since she has learned the character of her 
husband, she desires to repudiate the marriage, which she 
certified to, to me over her own signature. This under the 
circumstances to be developed certainly should not excite 
wonder, and is no evidence of insanity. ... I have the honor 

to be Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servant, (B. F. B.) 
From President Lincoln 

Executive Mansion, WASHINGTON, August IQth, 1864 

MRS. Ex. PRES T TYLER 

MY DEAR MADAM: I am directed by the President of the 
United States to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 
15th inst., requesting that your home on the James River may 
be restored to the charge of your manager, Mr. J. C. Tyler. 

The President directs me to say in reply, that military con 
siderations must of course control the decision of your request, 
and that the subject is therefore referred to Major General 
Butler. Your ML Sermnt) JNO G NICOLAY, Private Secy. 



84 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 
From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, August 20, 64 

DEAREST: I have your letter of Aug. 18th. What you say 
of my becoming a member of the church is well. I tell you 
truly, it is more to give some sustaining power to Harriet, who 
depends on me more than ever, than from any deep belief that 
I can more calmly meet the calamities of life. The demands 
made upon me are more than I, alone, am able to meet. I 
cannot help her "through the valley and shadow of death," if 
it must come, though even now I think it may be far off for 
her yet. But if through any act of mine, or assistance by 
sympathy, I can aid her to find comfort and strength elsewhere 
to help her on, or in seeking to aid her, should myself find 
Heaven, it were time, thought, and feeling well bestowed. 
I have always been more a believer than a skeptic. Christ is 
the only perfect model I have ever read of. His life and teach 
ings are both perfect, therefore, we may regard him as divine. 
Man as we find him now is no such being. The further he 
departs from the truths that Christ has taught, the more use 
less and worthless he becomes. The nearer he approaches to 
Jesus requirements, the more beneficial to others and himself. 
No one can live a day without some unworthy thought, some 
act or speech that they would be unwilling to trace, or have 
traced to its true cause. So that if the conscience is ever honest 
with itself, repentance must follow, and remission of sins can 
be given only by some being possessing those attributes that 
we ascribe to Christ. For if we forgive another s sins com 
mitted against us, it does not meet all that is important. The 
consequences have extended, and others, far off in the future, 
will continue to suffer from it. Some higher power must accept 
our repentance, and take from us the iniquities that our dark 
passions engender, if we do repent, and let us be free of it. Or 
we must stagger on forever accumulating until we drop down 
in despair, or defyingly throw away all restraints and recklessly 
outrage nature. But I am not sure what I had better do. This 
church is no more to me than any other Christian Church, only 
that I have attended there for many years. I like their ser 
vices for the dead, and various other things, better than any 
other. But I have great dread of doing anything hypocritical, 
and many things that I am not now aware of might come up to 
make me feel that I was out of place. But let this pass now. 
I have written more upon it than I have well thought of. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 85 

We go over to Dracut this afternoon and look about among 
the various people. Tomorrow I think Harriet and Paul will 
make a visit to old Dr. Richardson. And what are you doing? 
I know the outside world that surrounds you, but the inner 
world, what is that? Are you as happy as you recommend me 
to be? You are too w T ell-aware that happiness does not 
depend upon our own determinations to say so, only passingly. 
This letter is altogether too serious, and I do not like it. But 
I do wish you to love me and be happy. You see which I put 
first. I think you will find time to come home. 

Your affectionate, SARAH 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the field, Aug. 20, 1864 

MY OWN DEAR WIFE : You must not write me any more about 
coming home. You have made me so homesick now I am 
almost unfit for duty. I will come as soon and as fast as I can, 
I assure you. It would not be fit that I should come now. 
You say Shaffer can go--Weitzel can go, why not you? 
Neither Weitzel or Shaffer commands the army of the James. 
Meade does not go home. Grant does not go home. Why 
should I? But I will if I can. 

Warren with the 5th Corps moved out on the W T eldon R. 
Road below Petersburg and cut it. The enemy attacked twice, 
and was repulsed with heavy loss on both sides. The enemy 
attacked him again last night, but with what success I have not 
heard. A large part of Lee s army have moved north, and will 
be in the valley of the Shenandoah. Grant is moving here in 
every possible form to attack the enemy while Lee s army is 
aw^ay. So that we are all in activity. It has rained here for 
4 hours and quite cold. Still raining. You have heard that 
I have taken to digging a canal which will take me ten days to 
finish. So you see I cannot come. McCormick will meet you 
at Sharon Springs if you like. I believe they are in Pennsyl 
vania or perhaps New York. I do not believe in them, but 
that is of no consequence. 

How are you all getting on at home? Every leisure moment 
I picture your movements at home. Specially at night I go to 
sleep thinking about you, and sleep dreaming when I dream at 
all. You may think that my tent is not the pleasantest place in 
the world. Greene has gone home. Weitzel is away. Shaffer 
is gone. 



86 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I have no human being to speak to save the young gentle 
man who will not contradict, only agree with me, and you 
kept writing to me about drives and children playing, and 
picnics and nice chamber and beds, and then ask if I think of 
you. I can t help thinking of your surroundings. Will that 
satisfy you? No! Well then, I can t help thinking about 
you yourself, my little quiet, loving wife, whom I love and who 
loves me very much and wishing and wishing that I was 
with her at home, but should be willing to compromise by 
having her here, even losing the surroundings. 

Yours, BENJ. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., 1.40 P.M., in the Field. Aug. 20, 64 

Lieut. Gen. GRANT, Comd g. &c. 

Two deserters from Pickett s Division just came in. One a 
very intelligent man. He informs me that six regts. have been 
taken from Pickett s Division and sent across the James River. 
That on our left opposite Port Walthall they have reduced the 
line so that the line of battle is scarcely stronger than the 
skirmish line, being one man in every twenty feet. I believe 
this statement. I think the weak point now is in front of our 
line, and if we had the 10th Corps here I have no doubt we 
could go out on the left, at least I should be inclined to try it. 
I do not think we have over thirty-five hundred men between 
the two rivers. That you may judge for yourself. I will send 
you the deserter with yesterday s paper. Please question him. 
Allow me also to call your attention to the fact that the last 
of the 100 days regiments go away from me to-day. Certainly 
in the absence of the 10th Corps I have no one whom I can 
send to Fort Powhatan or Fort Pocahontas. Allow me to 
suggest that as the colored troops of the 9th Corps are so 
much demoralized & broken up for want of officers that if they 
could be sent to me, by putting the weaker ones in Powhatan & 
Pocahontas they might be recruited up & got into condition. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, M aj. Genl. 

From General Butler 

In the Field, Aug. 20, 2.20 P.M. 

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

ON the 29th of July an order came relieving Lt. Mordecai 
from duty here and sending (him) to Watervliet Arsenal. 

I had no other ordnance officer with which to relieve him, and 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 87 

as he was to go to an arsenal I applied both to the head of his 
bureau and to yourself for leave to have Mordecai stay. To 
that application no answer has yet been made. I supposed 
that he might not be relieved till the answer came. To-day 
an inquiry comes why he has not been relieved. I venture to 
renew my application, lest it has been overlooked. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. 

From General Butler 

Aug. 20, 1864, 2.30 P.M. 

Maj. Gen. MEADE, ComcTg. 

I HAVE a deserter from the 32 Va. Regiment, Cortes Brigade. 
Came in twelve o clock last night. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 20, 1864, 4 P.M. 

THE 10" Corps, in fact all the troops from North of the James, 
are ordered to return tonight. When this change is made it 
will probably induce the enemy to strengthen his weak point 
in your front before we can take advantage of it. If you can 
get through, however, I should like it very much. In regard to 
sending you the colored troops of the 9 "Corps, it is now im 
possible. The 18" Corps & Colored Troops of the 9 are hold 
ing all of our line at Petersburg, whilst the white troops of the 
9" are operating with the 5" Corps. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Genl. 

From President Lincoln 

UNITED STATES MILITARY TELEGRAPH, WASHINGTON, 

August 20th, 1864 

To Major General BUTLER 

PLEASE allow Judge Snead to go to his family on Eastern 
Shore, or give me some good reason why not. 

A. LINCOLN 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Aug. 21st, 1864 

The President of the United States 

I HAVE never hindered or intended to hinder E. K. Snead, 
who was elected Judge by twenty three (23) votes as I am told, 
from going to his family on the Eastern Shore. I had supposed 
he was there until I saw in the New York Tribune of the 19th a 



88 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

scurrilous article by him dated at Alexandria. In fact I in 
tended that Snead should not leave the Eastern Shore until he 
answered my inquiries whether he voted for Davis for the Presi 
dent of the Confederate States, or whether he made a speech 
cheering on the rebels of the Eastern Shore to attack the United 
States troops, saying he would shoot anyone who should run, 
and if he ran he hoped somebody would shoot him, and whether 
he held the office of commissioner of elections under the Con 
federate States. These questions Snead has not answered, 
because he will convict himself of incapability of holding office 
under the United States without a pardon. The trouble is, 
Snead is a liar, and has deceived the President. A military 
commission has just convicted Charles H. Porter, the Com 
monwealth Attorney of Virginia, of treasonable language in 
saying that the United States government was a rotten, corrupt, 
bogus government, and that Abraham Lincoln was doing all 
he could to break it up, and ruin the country, and that he would 
rather live under Jeff Davis. Porter s defence was that he 
was drunk when he said it. Of such are the restored govern 
ment of Virginia. 

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

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

FORT MONROE, Aug. 2lst, 1864 

MY DEAREST WIFE: One day is so like another here, can 
nonading here and shooting a little there, that it is almost 
impossible to write. To tell you I am in good health, I have 
told you that; that I cannot come home at present, I have told 
you that; that we are doing nothing here, I have told you that. 
That I love you very dearly, you know that. That I am al 
most homesick to see you and the children all that you know. 
Do you want to see me? Do the next best thing send down 
to Brackett and get the marble bust which he has done. Get 
up a. handsome pedestal for it he has been paid for it. Gen. 
Weitzel is quite sick at home. So much so as not to be able to 
see visitors. Shaffer will be back tonight. 

I wish you all joy for your fine picnics and rides. I am 
homesick ! 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 89 

From General Ord 

Head Quarters, ISth Army Corps (near) PETERSBURG, August 21, 1864 

Col, J. W. SHAFFER, Chief of Staff, &c. 

COLONEL: I have to report that my Corps in the last ten 
days has been reduced principally by sickness from the 10th 
to the 19th inclusive. Twenty-one hundred and three officers 
and men. 

The sick men when I took command averaged only seven 
per cent. It is now from seventeen to twenty, and increasing 
rapidly. The fact that these men came here from a malarious 
district of the South, that they have been more than two months 
in the trenches, and that in the last few days they have been 
exposed to heavy rains which fill the pits, and to the enemy s 
fire which prevents their obtaining rest, will account for this 
condition of the men. I have no hesitation in saying that 
unless the Corps is relieved from its present duty and allowed 
rest in the course of a month I shall not have five thousand 
able-bodied men for duty out of the ten thousand men reported. 
I have no reserves to relieve the men from the trenches who are 
scattered along a line of over three miles, besides doing picket 
duty for five miles on the river front. I am, Sir, Respectfully 
Yours <&c., E. C. C. ORD, Maj. Gen. Vols. CoincFg. 

From General Butler to General Birney 

Aug. 21**, 1864, 8 A.M. 

IT being now quite certain that the enemy have withdrawn 
very largely in front of our line between the James and the 
Appomattox, for the purpose of giving battle to Gen. Warren 
on the Weldon road below Petersburg, it is thought expedient 
that we should make the attempt to pierce their lines in this 
front. For that purpose you will take say 4000 of your best 
troops, and passing on to the plain near Fort Walthal will just 
before day, say 3.30 A.M., move upon the enemy s lines between 
the Appomattox and Bake House Creek, and up the valley 
of the Creek if found practicable. From the point at the old 
mill pond near the picket line held by us it would be well to 
send off say two regiments, or a brigade of not more than 800 
men, to move with vigor up the road that leads to the left at 
the same time to make a vigorous attack in that direction, A 
column of say one thousand men should at the same time make 
demonstration in the nature of a feint on the right near Ware 



90 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Bottom Church so that the enemy shall be held in check there. 
This column should be kept under cover as much as possible, 
so as to avoid the fire of the enemy s batteries, and seek cover 
to all possible extent, consistently with a demonstration. 

At the same time all our batteries should open on the centre 
of the enemy s line. As this movement if properly aimed 
should be (speedily) over, let the troops take nothing but their 
canteens filled and cartridge boxes. So much depends on 
your executive energy and skill that I forbear making other 
details the subject of an order. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. 9.50 A.M., Aug. 21st, 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Sec. of War, WASHINGTON, D. C. 

AN order has been sent here to assign the first five hundred 
(500) negro recruits to the 38th Regiment U. S. Col. Infantry. 
I do not know the reason for the order, but it is much more 
advantageous to the service that these recruits should be 
distributed among the several regiments rather than to fill 
one regiment up, and that the youngest one, at once to the 
maximum, and that with raw recruits. To distribute them 
among the regiments would give them a better chance to be 
mingled with drilled troops, and more advantageous to the 
service. Can I be permitted to assign these recruits according 
to my judgment? There have been but about one hundred 
(100) recruits yet. 



From General Butler 

10.5 A.M. Hd. Qrs., Aug. 21st, 1864 

Major VAN VLEET, Q. M. 9 NEW YORK CITY 

ONE hundred and ten (110) shells were sent you to be for 
warded to me on the 10th. We are waiting for them. I have 
not heard from them. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, 1 P.M., Aug. 21, 1864 

THE enemy is evidently massing everything he can to drive 
our troops from the Weldon road. To do this he is undoubtedly 
leaving his intrenched lines almost to their own care. Have a 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 91 

reconnoissance made, & if with the 10th Corps you can break 

through, do it. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, 1.45 P.M., Aug. 21, 1864 

GEN. ORD has extended so as to hold a greater front to relieve 
as many as possible of the A. P. to go to Gen. Warren s support, 
to hold what he now has. Two or three more batteries ought 
to be sent to him. Have you got them to spare? If so send 
them, two will probably be enough. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen I. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Aug. Vlst, 1864, 2 P.M. 

GEN. BIRNEY and myself are at this moment consulting 
upon the movement which you suggest, and will try and do it 
tomorrow morning. If we do anything I must have all the 
batteries I have left. I have but seven in all on the line and 
in reserve on this side of the river. Will send the one at Spring 
field to Ord. Gen. Hancock has twelve. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, 3.20 P.M., Aug. 21, 1864 

THE last despatch from Gen l. Warren was dated at 11 A.M. 
He then stated that the enemy had attacked from the north & 
west, but were too easily repulsed. He did not get them close 
enough for his fire to have effect. He captured, however, (400) 
prisoners that he knew of. I hope there is a mistake in the 
intercepted signal. ^ g GRANT> 



From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, 3.40 P.M., Aug. 21, 1864 

THE operator at Gen. Warren s Hd. Qrs. this moment, in 
reply to a question from me, says every attack of the enemy 
has been repulsed, & Warren s position is now stronger than 

ever U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen l. 



92 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

CITY POINT, 5.30, Aug. 21, 1864 

Gen. BIRNEY, 10th Army Corps, via BUTLER S Hd. Qrs. 

GET everything ready as we talked for the movement we 
spoke of. It is approved. We are to move on Petersburg, so 
we all say, will be back at once. Let the men take nothing but 
canteen of coffee and cartridge box. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 9 1. 

From General Butler to General Birney 

August 21s/, 11 .40 P.M. 

TELEGRAM received. From what you have learned, what is 
your opinion as to the feasibility of the movement, You can 
judge better than I, having seen the parties making report. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, August 21st, 1864 

DEAREST: It is half past ten o clock, and we rise tolerably 
early, but somehow I do not feel quite right if I do not write 
you a few words before I lie down to sleep. Early in the even 
ing I could have written very pleasantly, but now it is too late. 
I cannot recall the same feeling. There has been company 
through the evening, now they have gone and left their impres 
sions, that are not so agreeable as my own were. This is a 
lovely room; there are but two or three things wanted to make 
it very perfect. But if you were at home, contented, I should 
be satisfied if it were less pretty than it is. 

There are rumors very frequently that you are to be Secre 
tary of War. Webster writes that Susy and I need not trouble 
ourselves with too many plans in relation to Fortress Monroe, 
as it is not at all unlikely that Washington will be the place. 
Write me what you think about it. If I thought it would be so 
I should go down when Fisher takes Florence to school. But 
I hope that you will be here before that time. I have left 
very many things at the Fort that no one can attend to so well 
as I can. Had I known Harriet s state of health, I should 
certainly have given more time to it before I left. If you come 
on, and know anything of the future, I could go back with you 
and settle everything at the Fort. Are you not very weary of 
staying where you are? But I need not ask the question. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 93 

We have news in the morning papers of fighting by Warren s 
Corps. That we have gained, and hold the Weldon road. 
Will these movements continue to be made for the next three 
or four weeks? You wrote me that Weitzel had gone to Cin 
cinnati; but Webster writes he is yet at the Fort. It has been 
raining here steadily most of the day. Yesterday in the after 
noon quite chilly, today rather sultry. Write me what the 
weather is with you. The finest mist is falling now; it would 
be delightful to go out and let it fall on you. I do not see why 
on a day like this it would not be as healthful as it is to animals, 
trees, and flowers. Adieu, dearest. In your next letter I shall 
expect to find you are coming. 



From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 22, 1864 

PRISONERS and deserters taken this morning report the 
enemy s loss yesterday very heavy. I think it most likely the 
troops seen going towards Petersburg are troops getting back 
from the north side of the river. Gen. W. H. F. Lee is reported 
mortally wounded in yesterday s engagement. 

U. S. GRANT, Li. Gen. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Aug. 22, 1864, 12.35 A.M. 

SCOUTS report that at five o clock last evening the absent 
troops made their appearance again in their old places in front 
of our lines. The officer in charge of picket line reports it as 
fully manned. I sent to Gen. Birney for his opinion of the 
movement and he telegraphs as follows: "Shall we move at 
two o clock as proposed?" BENJ R BUTLER, Maj. Gent. 

Endorsed: Important to be delivered at once. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, 1.30 A.M., Aug. 22, 1864 

YOUR despatch of 12.35 A.M. rec d. Under the circumstances 
I think you had better not move. -Q g GRANT 



94 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 22nd, 1864 

THE troops reported moving towards Petersburg must be 
the same that were opposed to the 2nd & 10th Corps north of 
the James. They probably crossed the river during the night 
so as to escape observation. U S C 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs., Aug. 22nd, 1864 

Maj. Genl. BIRNEY, Comd g. 10th Corps 

THE signal officers report six (6) trains of cars passed the 
junction last night toward Richmond, and a train of fifteen 
(15) cars loaded with troops passing in the same direction this 
morning at 6.45. Have a little reconnoissance made, and see if 
there is any change of troops in your front. Have you any 
deserters? BENJ R BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

In the field, Aug. 22, 1864 

MY LOVE: I can t write much this morning as the mail is 
waiting. I was up till past two o clock last night, waiting for a 
movement to commence which after all is just postponed. 
So you see that it is all of my laziness that you do not get a 
long letter. 

We hold still the Weldon road near Petersburg. A very 
severe fight was made yesterday by the Rebels to get it. We 
are in the midst of activity now, and shall be for a few days, 
and then I can come home, I think. At least, I will try. 

I do not believe that being north will help my chances much 
for other movements. We must let it drift along as it will. 
There is nothing else to be done than duty here. 

Your letters now come regularly, and I send them back so 
that you will see what I get. Love to the boys and Blanche, 
and a warm embrace and kiss from one who loves you dearly 
will be all I can send this morning. p 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs^ Aug. 22, 1864, 10 A.M. 

Major LUDLOW, DUTCH GAP 

HAVE no cahorns. Will send an officer for Graham s gun 
boat who understands the Sawyer s shells. You ought to be 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 95 

able to reach the range of a cahorn mortar with your Sawyer 
canister. Try them at ten (10) degrees elevation, they will 
give you six hundred (600) yards. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Aug. 22, 1864, 11.10 A.M. 

I WILL keep the sharpest possible lookout upon the move 
ments of the enemy in my front. And will be all ready to move 
at once day or night. At 10.35, 27 wagons, 14 ambulances, and 
300 cavalry passed toward Petersburg, 13 wagons toward 
Richmond. BENJ R BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Birney 

Aug. 22, 1864, 11.15 A.M. 

THE movement ordered last night has not been abandoned 
but only postponed. Meanwhile let every preparation be made 
for it. The troops are organized so as to move quickly, and 
reconnoissances made so that officers may be instructed in the 
features of the country exactly, on which they are to operate. 
Let this be done quietly so as not to attract observation. Large 
parties of troops are moving to Petersburg to-day. Large 
bodies moved toward Richmond early this morning and last 

night BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. 

From General Butler to General Birney 

Aug. 22, 1 P.M. 

BY order of the Lieutenant General, to whom I telegraphed 
the facts and your opinion, you will not make the movement 
ordered. Please send notice to Ludlow s troops not to come 
over. Acknowledge receipt. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 22nd, 1864 

I THINK it will be well to hold the 10th ready to make the 
effort that was proposed for this morning, for a day or two, 
before moving it. The enemy may be induced to move most of 
his troops from your front in the hope of driving us from the 
Weldon road. 



96 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Mrs Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Aug. 22nd, 64 

DEAREST: I have a misgiving that something is not right. 
I do not know if it is with you or me, "such a kind gain-giving 
as might, perhaps, trouble a woman." I am restless and dis 
satisfied with it. I do not know why I should write tonight. 
I wrote yesterday, Sunday, and again today. Sunday and 
Monday, no letters from you. I may find one in the morning. 

Benny is curled up on my bed with his eyes gleaming at me. 
He dislikes to close them because when asleep he knows I shall 
lift him up and carry him to his own bed. Paul is teasing 
Blanche to sleep in his room and leave him to sleep with me. 
Poor Benny! His eyes are closed down, and he is carried 
away to his own bed. Paul has taken his place, and presently 
will be removed in the same way. 

Corliss came up this evening to consult about papers to be 
arranged for Harriet. While we were driving this afternoon a 
card was left by Thomas P. Durant. Can it be the one we 
knew at N. Orleans? Paul has succeeded. Blanche has gone 
to sleep with Benny. 

I cannot write you any more tonight, dearest. And some 
how, I think you will not be sorry. Col. Greene has not been 
here, nor have I yet written to Mrs. Bell that I am here. She 
asked me to do so when I returned, as she and her sister, Miss 
Bell, would make haste to come up to see me. 

Goodnight! I can do no more. I send this not because 
there is a word to please, but that you may not be disturbed 

at finding none. ^ , . . . 7 

Yours most affectionately, SARAH 

I have this heavy dull feeling and I cannot shake it off, at 

least not tonight. 

Tuesday morning 

GOOD, here are two letters from you! I will not tease you 
any more, it is cruel for I know you wish to come. And I also 
know you must not come, if there are movements there. You 
have given too much to it all to abandon at the last moment. 
So if I cannot sometimes help urging, you must always under 
stand it to mean, if you can honorably, that no one can question 
its propriety, not otherwise. And you will say, "I do not need 
to be urged," when that time comes. The children send love 
and all kinds of pleasant wishes. I am very glad those letters 

came this morning. 1/f 7 

Most truly yours, SARAH 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 97 

Sharon is in N. York, a little distance from Albany. If it is 
so sickly, could you spare Dr. McCormick? I will wait a little, 
you may come on together, and on your return we could 
go with you to N. Y. and from there to Sharon. Adieu. 



From General Butler 

In the Field, August 23rd, 1864 

ROBT. OULD, ESQ., Commissioner of Exchange of the 
Confederate Authorities 

SIR: Your note to Maj. Mulford, Asst. Agent of Exchange, 
under date of 10th of August, has been referred to me. 

You therein state that "Major Mulford had several times 
proposed to exchange prisoners respectively held by the two 
belligerents, officer for officer and man for man," and also, 
"that the offer had also been made by other officials having 
charge of matters connected with the exchange of prisoners," 
and that this proposal has been heretofore declined by the 
Confederate Authorities." . . . "That you now consent to 
the above proposition and agree to deliver to you (Major 
Mulford) the prisoners held in captivity by the Confederate 
Authorities, provided you agree to deliver an equal number of 
Confederate officers and men." "As equal numbers are de 
livered from time to time, they will be declared exchanged. 
This proposal is made with the understanding that the officers 
and men, on both sides, who have been longest in captivity, 
will be first delivered, where it is practicable." 

From a slight ambiguity in your phraseology, but more 
perhaps from the antecedent action of your authorities, I am 
in doubt whether you have stated the proposition made to 
you with entire accuracy. It is true, a proposition was made 
to you both by Major Mulford and by myself as Agent of 
Exchange, to exchange all prisoners of war taken by either 
belligerent party, man for man, officer for officer of equal rank, 
or their equivalents. It was made by me early in the winter 
of 1863-4, and (was) not accepted. In May last I forwarded 
to you a note, desiring to know whether the Confederate 
Authorities intended to treat colored soldiers of the United 
States Army as prisoners of war. 

To that inquiry, no answer has yet been made. To avoid all 
possible misapprehension or mistake hereafter as to your offer 
now, will you please say whether you mean by "prisoners held 
in captivity," colored men, duly enrolled and mustered into the 

VOL. V 7 



98 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

service of the United States, who have been captured by the 
Confederate forces; and if your authorities are willing to 
exchange all soldiers of the United States so mustered into the 
United States Army whether colored or otherwise, and the 
officers commanding them, man for man, officer for officer. 
At an interview which was had between yourself and the 
Agent of Exchange on the part of the United States at Fortress 
Monroe in March last, you will do me the favor to remember 
the principal discussion turned upon this very point; you, on 
behalf of the Confederate Government, claiming the right to 
hold all negroes who had heretofore been slaves and not eman 
cipated by their masters, who should be enrolled and mustered 
into the service of the United States, when captured by your 
forces, not as prisoners of war, but upon being captured to be 
turned over to their supposed masters or claimants, whoever 
they might be, to be held by them as slaves. 

By your advertisements in your newspapers, calling upon 
their masters to come forward and claim these men so cap 
tured, I suppose that your authorities still adhere to that claim. 
That is to say, that whenever a soldier of the United States is 
captured by you, upon whom any claim can be made by any 
person residing within the States now in insurrection, that such 
colored soldier shall be taken and turned over to his supposed 
owner or claimant, and put at such labor or service as that 
owner or claimant may choose, and not to be exchanged as 
Prisoner of war, and the officers, in the language of a supposed 
Act of the Confederate States, to be turned over to the Gov 
ernors of States upon requisitions, for the purpose of being 
punished by the laws of such States for acts done in war as 
United States soldiers. 

You must be aware that there is still a proclamation by 
Jefferson Davis claiming to be Chief Executive of the Confeder 
ate States, declaring in substance that all officers in command 
of colored troops mustered into the service of the United States 
were not to be treated as prisoners of war, but were to be turned 
over for punishment to the Governors of States, and the colored 
soldiers delivered to their masters. 

I am citing these public acts from memory, and will be 
pardoned for not giving the exact words, although I believe I 
do not vary the substance and effect. 

These declarations on the part of those whom you repre 
sent yet remain unrepealed, unannulled, unrevoked, and must 
therefore be still supposed to be authoritative. Is the Govern- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 99 

men! of the United States to understand that these several 
claims, enactments and proclaimed declarations are to be 
given up, set aside, revoked, and held for nought, by the Con 
federate authorities, and that they are ready and willing to 
exchange, man for man, those colored soldiers of the United 
States, duly mustered and enrolled as such, and heretofore have 
been claimed as slaves by the Confederate States, as well as 
white soldiers? 

If this be so, and you are willing to exchange these colored 
men claimed as slaves, and you will so officially inform the 
Government of the United States, then, as I am instructed, the 
principal difficulty in effecting exchanges will be removed. 
As I informed you personally, in my judgment it is neither con 
sistent with the policy, dignity, or honor of the United States, 
upon any consideration to allow those who by our laws, solemnly 
enacted, are made soldiers of the Union, and who have been duly 
enlisted, enrolled, and mustered as such soldiers, who have 
borne arms in behalf of their country, and who have been cap 
tured while fighting in vindication of the rights of their country, 
not to be treated as prisoners of war, and remain unexchanged 
and in the service of those who claim them as masters; and I 
cannot believe that the Government of the United States will 
ever be found to consent to so gross a wrong. Pardon me if 
I misunderstand you in supposing that your proposition does 
not in good faith mean to include all the soldiers of the Union, 
and that you still intend, if your offer is accepted, to hold 
colored soldiers of the United States unexchanged and at 
labor in service, because I am informed that very lately, almost 
contemporaneously with this offer on your part to exchange 
prisoners, and which seems to include all prisoners of war, the 
Confederate authorities have made a declaration that the ne 
groes heretofore held to service by the owners in the states of 
Delaware and Maryland are to be treated as prisoners of war 
when captured in arms in the service of the United States. 
Such declaration that a part of colored soldiers of the United 
States are to be treated as prisoners of war would seem most 
strongly to imply that others were not to be so treated, or in 
other words that colored men from the insurrectionary states 
are to be held to labor and returned to their masters if captured 
by the Confederate forces, while duly enrolled and mustered 
into and actually in the armies of the United States. 

In the view which the Government of the United States takes 
of the claim made by you, to the person of these negroes, 



100 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

it is not to be supported upon any principle of National or 
Municipal Law. 

Looking upon these men only as property upon your theory 
of property in them, we do not see how this claim can be made, 
certainly not how it can be yielded. It is believed to be a well 
settled rule of public international laws of war, that the capture 
of movable property vests the title to that property in the cap 
tor, and where one belligerent gets into his full possession 
property of the subjects or citizens of another belligerent, 
the title to that property at once vests in the Government 
obtaining and holding such possession. Upon these rules of 
international law, all civilized nations have acted, and both 
belligerents have dealt, with all movable property, save 
slaves, taken from each other during the present war. 

If the Confederate forces capture any number of horses from 
the United States, the animals immediately become, as we 
understand it, and are claimed to be, the property of the Con 
federate authorities. If the United States forces capture any 
movable property belonging to persons in the rebellion, by our 
regulations and laws in conformity with the principles of inter 
national law and the laws of war, it is turned over to our Gov 
ernment as its property. Therefore, if we obtain possession 
of that species of property known to the laws of the insurrec 
tionary states as slaves, why should there be any doubt that 
that property, like any other, vests in the United States? If 
it does so vest, then the jus disponendi, the right of disposing 
of that property, vests in the United States. 

Now, the United States have disposed of the property which 
they have acquired by capture, in slaves taken by them, assum 
ing your theory, by giving that right of property to the man 
himself, to the slave, i.e. emancipating him and proclaiming 
him free for ever, so that if we have not mistaken the principles 
of international law and the laws of war, we have no slaves in 
the armies of the United States. All are free men. Slaves, 
being captured by us, and thus the right of property in them, 
thereby vested in us, that right of property, is disposed of by 
us by manumitting them, as has always been the acknowledged 
right of the owner to do to his slave. The manner in which we 
dispose of our property, while it is in our possession, certainly 
cannot be questioned by you. 

Nor is the case altered if the property is not actually captured 
in battle, but comes either voluntarily or involuntarily from 
the belligerent owner into the possession of the other belligerent. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 101 

I take it, no one would doubt the right of the United States to 
a drove of Confederate mules, or a herd of Confederate cattle, 
who should wander or rush across the Confederate lines into the 
lines of the United States Army. So it seems to me, treating 
the negro as property merely, if that piece of property passes 
the Confederate lines, and comes into the lines of the United 
States, that property is as much lost to its owner in the Con 
federate States as would be the mule or ox, the property of 
the resident of the Confederate States, which should fall into 
our hands. 

If, therefore, the principles of international law and the laws 
of War used in this discussion are correctly stated, and they 
are believed to be so, then it would seem that the deductions 
logically flow therefrom in natural sequence, that the Con 
federate States can have no claims upon the negro soldiers 
captured by them from the Armies of the United States except 
such as result from their capture merely, under the laws of War. 

Do the Confederates claim the right to reduce to a state of 
slavery prisoners of war captured by them? This claim of 
right our fathers fought against under Bainbridge and Decatur 
when set up by the Barbary powers on the Northern shore of 
Africa, about the year 1800, and in 1864, their children will 
hardly yield it upon their own soil. 

This point in the discussion I will not pursue further, be 
cause I understood you to repudiate that idea, that you will 
reduce free men to slaves because of capture in war, and to base 
the claim of the Confederate authorities to reenslave our negro 
soldiers when captured by you upon the "jus postliminii," or 
that principle of the law of nations which rehabitates the prior 
owner with property taken by an enemy, when such property is 
recovered by the forces of his own country. But this post- 
liminary right, as understood and defined by all writers of 
national law, is applied simply to unmovable property only, 
and that, too, only after the complete resubjugation of that 
portion of the country upon which the right fastens itself. By 
the laws and customs of war this right has never been applied 
to movable property. 

True it is, I believe, that the Romans attempted to apply it 
in the case of slaves. But for two thousand years no other 
nation has attempted to set up this right as against persons, and 
make it a ground for treating slaves differently from other 
property. But the Romans even refused to enslave men cap 
tured by the opposing belligerents in a civil war such as this is. 



102 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Consistently, then, with any principle of the law of nations, 
treating slaves as property merely, it would seem to be impossi 
ble for the Government of the United States to permit the 
negroes in their ranks to be reenslaved when captured or 
treated otherwise than as prisoners of war. 

I have forborne, Sir, in this discussion to argue the question 
upon any other or different grounds of right than those adopted 
by your authorities, understanding that your fabric of opposi 
tion to the Government of the United States has the right of 
property in man as its corner-stone. Of course it would not 
be profitable in settling a question of exchange of prisoners of 
war, to attempt to convince your authorities that they ought to 
abandon the very corner-stone of their attempted political 
edifice. Therefore I have omitted all the considerations which 
should apply to the negro soldier as a man, and dealt with him 
upon the Confederate theory of property only. 

I unite with you most cordially, Sir, in desiring a speedy 
settlement of all these questions, in view of the great suffering 
endured by our prisoners in the hands of your authorities, of 
which you so feelingly speak, and would desire to ask in view of 
that suffering why you have delayed eight months in answering 
a proposition which by now accepting you admit to be just, 
right, and humane? One cannot help thinking, even at the 
risk of being deemed uncharitable, that the benevolent sym 
pathies of the Confederate authorities have been lately stirred 
by the depleted condition of their armies, and a desire to get 
into the field, to affect the present campaign, the hale, hearty, 
and well-fed prisoners held by the United States in exchange 
for the half-starved, sick, emaciated, and unserviceable soldiers 
of the United States now languishing in your prisons. The 
events of this war, if we did not know it before, have taught us 
that it is not the northern portion of the American people 
alone who know how to drive sharp bargains. 

The wrongs, indignities, and privations suffered by our 
soldiers would move me to consent to anything to effect their 
exchange excepting to barter away the honor and faith of the 
Government of the United States, which has been so solemnly 
pledged to the colored soldiers in its ranks. Consistently with 
national faith and justice, we cannot relinquish this point. 
With your authorities, it is a question of property merely. It 
seems to address itself to you in this form: Will you suffer 
your soldier, captured in fighting your battles, to lie in confine 
ment for months, rather than release him by giving for him 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 103 

that which you call a piece of property, and which we are willing 
to accept as a man? 

You would seem, certainly, to place less value upon your 
soldier than you do upon your negro. I can assure you, much 
as we of the North are accused of loving property, our citizens 
would have no difficulty in yielding up any piece of property 
they have in exchange for one of their brothers or sons lan 
guishing in your prisons. Certainly there could be no doubt 
that it would be done, were that piece of property less in value 
than five thousand dollars in Confederate money, which is 
believed to be the price of an able-bodied negro in the insurrec 
tionary states. 

Trusting that I may receive such a reply to the questions 
propounded in this note as will lead to a speedy resumption of 
the negotiations for a full exchange of all prisoners, and a de 
livery of them to their respective authorities. I have the honor 

Very Respectfully Your obedient servant 
From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Aug. 23, 1864 

You may now send the 10th Corps, or as much of it as can 
be spared from Bermuda 100, to relieve as far as possible the 
18th Corps. When the 18th is relieved, let them go into camp 
on the high ground in rear of their present position. So long 
as w T e hold the Weldon Road it is prudent for us to keep all the 
force we can south of the Appomattox. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen I. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Aug. 23, 1864, 12.35 

TELEGRAM received. I will immediately proceed to relieve 
the 18th division by division. And encamp that corps as a 
reserve, so that fewer men can hold the trenches than if they 
were not so encamped. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Birney 

August 23rd, 1864 

WILL you ride over with me to meet Gen. Ord, and consult 
with him about relieving the 18th Corps with a portion of the 
10th? We will leave my Head Qrs. at 3.30 P.M. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 



104 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Aug. 23, 1864 

MY Chief Paymaster is here with a small amount of money. 
There are now two payments due. All my troops . . . [unin 
telligible] a week from to-day. The money will go but little 
way, as so many of the troops have instalments of bounties and 
recruiting bounties due them, so that it takes so much for 
each soldier that but few can be paid. For example, four 
months pay is 58 dollars, but an instalment of bounty is 50 
dollars, and some have two instalments, and so that in fact 
we can have nearly twice as many if we do not pay the bounties. 
Now, as the bounties are gratuities, should we not endeavor to 
pay as many as we can [their pay] so that many may get a lit 
tle for their wants and not a few get a good deal? If you see 
no objection, I will order the paymaster to pay only the pay 
proper till he gets more money. Another thing, offer next 
Wednesday as a new muster day. Nobody can be paid on the 
old rolls, and must wait nearly a month for the new rolls and 
return, which is an additional reason for paying as many as 
possible during this week. BENJ p BUTLEB> 

From General Grant to General Butler 

UNITED STATES MILITARY TELEGRAPH. CITY POINT, 
August 23rd, 1864, 10 P.M. 

GENERAL GRANT directs me to say that he approves of the 
policy suggested by you, and that you are authorized to issue 
the necessary order. j g BOLLERS> A A Q 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, August 23rd, 1864 

DEAREST: What a number of letters all in one day! Two 
this morning, one this afternoon. Ought I not to be in great 
spirits? You can see that I waited two or three days without 
one, and naturally felt a little dull. I do not like you to feel 
obliged to write when you are weary, and think there is not an 
other word to say that you have not already repeated. It is a 
pleasure to me to have them, and I do not mind that you have 
not important news to send me every day. But yet if there 
comes a morning when you are tired from exertion of the day 
before, and disinclined to move, let that day pass, and you will 
feel more like writing another time. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 105 

Fisher will start for Washington next week. I have half a 
mind to go with him, only that the journey is so tedious 
In fact, I have been thinking of the feasibility of going by 
Sharon, leaving Harriet and Mrs. Read there till I returned, 
and go down to Fortress Monroe with Fisher. On my return, 
stop a week at Sharon, and bring them back to Lowell. Harriet, 
though in a condition that may become dangerous, is able to 
travel, and if I will go with her would prefer to do it. She is 
inclined to be and to go with me. I wanted her to go to old 
Dr. Richardson s with Paul and your mother or Mrs. Read, 
but, although she concluded to go, she still showed such 
distaste to it that we have given it up. I think it would still be 
the same if any other place were proposed, unless I went with 
her. She is quite ready to go to the Fortress, any where if I 
will go with her. What do you think; would it be too much 
for me to go down with Fisher, and back to Sharon? We seem 
to be in a migratory, unsettled state. If it were the last of 
September I should take the whole family to the Fort, and 
close up the house. Do you know, I feel as though I have as 
much care, trouble, and personal attention to give to others 
as you are obliged to give. I wish there was a little more time 
for each other. But wishing, I fancy, will not help it, or I 
would wish you here for an hour of two of chat, and I know I 
should have all the talking to do, a quiet night s sleep, and a 

cheerful breakfast in the morning. v 1 . c 

Yours, dearest, SARAH 

From General Butler 

In Field, August 23rd, 1864 

JOHN H. HACKETT, ESQ., Counsellor at Law, NEW YORK 

AT what day can you attend to the probate of the will if I 
can be present, or can it be done on any day? Answer by 

teIe S ra P h BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. 

From General Butler to Colonel Kensel 

BY SIGNALS. August 23rd, 1864 

SEND up the "Greyhound" to Broadway at once. Ask if 
Grant is at home. Answer. -o -p BUTLER 



106 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

In the Field, Aug. 23, 1864, 1.30 

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

MONSIEUR Tabanelle, Consul of France at Richmond, desires 
to come through the lines as bearer of despatches. He does 
not say to whom or from whom or whereto. Shall he come? 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From the Secretary of War to General Butler 

War DepL, WASH N., 11.50 P.M., Aug. 24, 1864 

YOUR telegram received today in regard to Monsieur Taba 
nelle, having been referred to the Sec y of State. He gives the 
following instructions which you will please observe. Let the 
French Vice Consul state where he proposes to go within our 
military lines, & whether the despatches are sent by any French 
authority, whether they are addressed to the French Legation 
here or the French Govt. at Paris, or other French authority, & 
on satisfactory affirmative answer being given on these points, 

let him come. T? T\/T a a > s TXT 

E. M. STANTON, Sec y of War 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs., August 24th, 1864 

Maj. Genl. BIRNEY, Comd g 10th Corps 

WILL with his corps relieve the 18th Corps, under com 
mand of Maj. Gen. Ord from duty on the left of the line of this 
Army. Major Gen. Ord, upon being relieved by the troops 
under General Birney, will occupy the north side of the James 
with his brigade of negro troops at Deep Bottom. With Ames 
Division he will occupy the entrenched line between the 
Appomattox and the James. He will encamp at Spring Hill, 
the division under Brig. Gen. Carr as a reserve. 

Gen ls. Birney and Ord will consult together and make such 
movements of their troops as will allow this change without 
attracting the notice of the enemy, save that there is no objec 
tion that the enemy shall see the troops of the 10th Corps 
marching to the left. The movement of the 18th Corps to 
the right it would be better to conceal. The light artillery 
along the two lines will be quietly changed by detachments so 
as to attract no notice, and be all the time in a state of efficiency. 
So much of the artillery of the 18th Corps as will replace that 
which is now serving with 18th Corps from the 10th Corps, will 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 107 

be left on the lines on the left, so as to preserve there the neces 
sary number of guns. Further orders to arrange details, if 
necessary, will be issued as the movements progress. 

B. F. B. 

From General Butler to General Ord 

Aug. Mth, 1864, 1 o clock 

YOUR order and that of Gen. Birney went at 11 o clock to 
both of you. Have you received it? I have ordered Birney 
to send you a Division at once. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, 1.30 P.M., Aug. 24, 1864 

HAS a division of the 10th Corps started yet to replace the 
18th? Gen. Ord has just asked Meade for any spare troops he 
may have, stating that there are indications of an attack, and 
that a number of deserters having gone over to the enemy last 
night who may have given information of his weakness, makes 
him fear the result. 

If a division of Birney s has not gone, how long will it take to 

get one there? TT a ^ T , n -, 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Genl. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs., August %-lth, 1.45 P.M. 

Lieut. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Comd g., etc., CITY POINT 

GENERAL ORD telegraphs me that his lookouts inform him 
that large bodies of troops, supposed to be five thousand 
(5,000), are concentrating in front of his lines, and asking 
for one division of General Birney s command, w^hich I have 
ordered, he fearing attack either to-day or to-night. 

Deserters say that Mahone s division was relieved by 
Pickett s Sunday. The fact that Mahone s division was in the 
fight, appears in to-day s Examiner, which I have sent you. 
That there has been some change in my front between the 
James and the Appomattox would appear from the fact that 
for the first time in many weeks picket firing was started on our 
left near Fort Walthal. BENJ R BUTLER; Maj 



108 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs., Aug. Wth, 1864, 3.5 P.M. 

Major Gen. BIRNEY, Comd g 10th Corps 

Do I understand you to say that you got my order for this 
movement signed by the Adjutant General at 2.45 P.M.? 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From Salmon P. Chase to General Butler 

CHERRY HILL, near SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS, August 24^, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: Major Way is a gentleman of excellent 
position in Ohio, and was appointed Paymaster on my recom 
mendation. Misfortune, in no way affecting his repute for 
integrity, compelled him to resign that. He thinks if he can 
obtain a permit for trade in Norfolk, including sale of liquors by 
wholesale, he can repair his losses. If such permits can be 
granted to anyone, I shall be very glad to have one granted 

Yours sincerely, S. P. CHASE 
From the Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, August 24, 1864 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Dept. Va. & N. C. 

GENERAL: The Secretary of War directs that you cause to be 
furnished to this Department a copy of a contract made by 
your direction between Brig. Genl. C. M. Graham and Mr. 
Norman Wiard, providing for certain changes in the boilers or 
other parts of four steamers made by him, now in the service 

under your command. v , -,. 

Your obedient servant, 

C. A. DANA, Asst. Sec 9 y of War 
From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the field, Aug. 24, 1864 

MY DEAREST LOVE: What a pettish, mocking, sarcastic little 
thing it is? Railing at all the world, abusing the doctors, fly 
ing about, jumping out of its skin, and then boasting how 
"calm and smooth" it is going to be! How it would like to 
have me by to torment me good every way ! I know the nature 
of the little creature thoroughly. 

Everything jogs on here as before. We still hold the Weldon 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 109 

Road. My canal is getting on famously. I most grieve to 
hear that Gen. Weitzel is sick, sick abed too. He has had an 
extension of his leave. Shaffer got back to the fort last night 
- will be here tonight. I am in reasonably good health, and 
hope to get to you soon for a flying visit. I do not believe I 
would go to Sharon. I have but little faith in the virtues of its 
waters, but if you have I would go. But do not go without 
letting me know, so that I may not come home, if I get away, 
for nothing. You will get this now in two days, the twenty- 
sixth. Then you will write and it will reach me the 28th. 
What changes may take place in that time ! All the relation of 
things to each other may change even in that four days, but 
there is one thing that cannot change, and that is your un 
changing, deep love for me, and my appreciation, reverence, and 
love of you, my own dearest wife. T> 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, August 24^, 1864 

DEAREST: Do you not begin to weary of my letters? I still 
write to you of home, nothing else. Nothing of what is abroad, 
of what should, or might be done, to save us from the dis 
astrous state we are falling into. Do you not think it strange 
that the Radicals have no sense of that they ought to be. Dr. 
Kimball was here two hours this forenoon, talking politics. 
He does not like Wade s and Davis course. He thinks it 
injures Lincoln and aids the Democrats. But, I said, they 
make no movement until they see it is impossible to elect 
Lincoln. There never was any great hope that he could be 
elected if this campaign was unsuccessful. The only chance 
the party has now is to choose a new man, Lincoln and Fre 
mont to withdraw and give their best support to another. 
" Well," he says, "who is there? There is no one to take, un 
less," he said, after a little hesitation, " they should choose 
Gen l Butler, and they won t do it." " Then the Radicals are 
beaten, Doctor, for there is no other man in the party who can 
defeat McClellan." Kimball, I think is a Lincoln man. Now, 
can you tell me why this thing is so? Why won t they choose 
you? Almost the only man who has really accomplished any 
thing in this war! The only one in the party who, at the head 
of Government, can carry it to a successful issue. Strange as 
it may seem, I do not feel deeply interested about it, one would 
think it would be quite a personal matter to me, but it is not so. 



110 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I can look at it as coolly as though it were a person I had never 
known. But I am amazed at the oversight of the Radicals, 
as I was astonished long ago that the Democrats did not gain 
their power again by showing how inefficient the Administration 
had been, how far it lagged behind the wishes of the people. 
They did not do it when they might, the Radicals will not save 
their party by the only means that offers. I would give much 
had I seen Seward when he came to the Fortress. Strange that 
should happen so! I wished to write further, but Frazer is 
going down to the office and I must send it now. 

Yours, dearest love, SARAH 

From General Butler to General Birney 

Aug. 25, 5.40 A.M. 

IF the enemy are in earnest, you will next hear of them on 
your left. Look to that a little. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Ord 

August mh, 1864 

You may send over here as much of Ames Division as you 
can. Caution him to march so as to prevent straggling. If 
you can relieve his troops without loss, they may as well be 
relieved. Take measures to pick up the stragglers of Terry s 
Division. p BuTLERj Ma j Gen , L Comd > g , 



From General Butler to General tlirney 

Aug. 25, 1864, 8 A.M. 

ORD does not like to let Ames go this morning. Must 
you have him, or in other words, i the movement in your 
front over? BENJ R BuTLER> Ma j Gen > L Co md g. 

From General Butler to General Birney 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., in the Field, Aug. 25, 64, 11 A.M. 

WHAT is your loss in this morning s operations? 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen L 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 111 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Aug. 25, 1864, 5.30 P.M. 

THE enemy made an attack on my picket line this morn 
ing at daylight, which has been kept up at intervals ever 
since. They have not forced it back. Prisoners captured say 
Mahone s Division has reenforced Pickett. I suppose is reliev- 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gm l. Comd g. 
From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., in the Field, Aug. 25th, 64 

Lieut. Gen. GRANT, Comd g ., etc. 

THE enemy made a charge on our picket line early this 
morning because of the information of some deserters who went 
over last night, saying that our troops were all moving away. 

Thereupon, Gen. Pickett is reported saying that he wanted 
to straighten his line near Ware Bottom Church, and made a 
charge for that purpose with a very strong skirmish line. 

For the moment our pickets were pressed back, but they 
recovered and charged in return, and retook all our own picket 
line and part of theirs. 

The loss of the enemy is pretty large. Ours I have not yet 
learned, but it is trifling. We have captured fifteen prisoners. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Aug. 25, 1864, 12.30 

GEN. BIRNEY reports that he has reestablished his picket 
line which was forced back by a charge from the enemy, that 
in a charge in return he has taken fifty prisoners, two commis 
sion officers. We have also five deserters. Our loss in killed 
and wounded is trifling. It was a plucky little affair on the 
part of Gen. Foster. As all seems to be going right now, I will 
at two o clock start north. A telegram will reach me at 
Williard s, at 5th Avenue, N. Y., if you should desire to com 
municate with me. 

I have turned over the command to Gen. Ord, the senior 
during my absence. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

In the Field, Aug. 25, 1864 

M aj. Gen. HALLECK, Chief of Staff 

I AM about to go North by leave of Gen. Grant to probate 
my brother s will, which cannot be done without my personal 
presence. There are matters of business connected with my 
command and the exchange of prisoners which will require me 
to visit Washington. Have I permission to do so? 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

In the field, Aug. 25, 1864 

MY DEAR SARAH: Although I knew that I should not get a 
letter last night because the mail did not connect on Sunday, 
yet I was disappointed when I did not find one. 

They as are necessary to me as my daily food, and you must 
not let them fail any more than you would the dinner. But one 
thing I must lay strict commands not to write, and that is about 
my coming home. You make me absolutely so homesick that 
I shan t be fit for duty. Your pictures of home scenes are very 
pleasant, and I would not lose them, but your entreaties to 
come home added thereto are too much. We are still holding 
on to the Weldon Road. The enemy were foiled in the attempt 
to drive us off. My canal is progressing favorably. We came 
near having a fight on our line. The Rebels, however, pre 
vented it by moving a large body of troops in our front, so that 
we did not attack. We must have more men. The draft must 
be enforced, and then we can end the war in two months. I 
think Lincoln is beaten, but who can be nominated at Chicago 
that will not lose the country, but why talk of all this? 

How are the boys getting on? How is Blanche getting on? 
I know how her dresses are, for you have told me. I hope to 
see you, but you had better not put by any party or movement 
on that account. If I come home it will not be for the purpose 
of going to parties, or seeing anybody but you and the children. 
All the rest will be a nuisance. Now, love, do not be low- 
spirited or doubtful or desponding. There is no cause why you 
should be so, let me assure you again and again. A thousand 
kisses, as you would get were I to see you, with as warm an 
embrace from y 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 113 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

August 25th, 1864 

MY DEAR WIFE : No letter from you last night. What can 
be the reason? Are you gone to Sharon Springs and without 
letting me know? Perhaps I shall come home and find you 
gone. Who knows? It would be just my luck. I am up very 
early this morning. 

The enemy made an attack in force along my line this morn 
ing at daylight, and drove in my pickets a little way, but I 
believe they have been repulsed. The fighting is still going on 
while I write. If this turns out nothing but a spurt, I shall be 
home in a day or two after you receive this, but mind, I do not 
promise. Only better not be away from home in the meantime. 

You are sure of one thing, however. I will come as soon, for 
as long as I can, but the stay will be short of necessity. 

Most truly yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, August IQth, 1864 

DEAREST: I send you this line to tell you I cannot write 
today, nor could I last evening. 

There is not one thought that I can transfer to paper that 
would please you. An ungrateful, perverse state of mind, 
while the sun shines in Heaven, the flowers bloom on Earth, 
and children s voices are murmuring in your ears. 

But so it is. The only thing I can say that I hope will 
please you, is 3/o ^ a g eciionaie i y ^ Yours, SARAH 



Fisher will go to the Fortress the last of next week. 
From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, August (26//z), 1864 

DEAREST: I had just sent you a letter today, five minutes 
before yours came, saying I could write nothing that you 
would wish to read. Two of yours came together. And both 
have a kind of promise that you may come home. I shall not 
go to Fortress Monroe, or Sharon until I am sure you cannot 
come. And I must not urge you another bit, because I know 
you wish to come and will if it is possible, or at all proper that 
you should. 

Fisher will go to the Convention before he returns. I do not 



114 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

know that his going to the Fortress will prevent your coming, 
but I have a sort of misgiving that it may for a little while. 

I am not so dull as this morning. And this evening shall 
commence a long letter to you. It must be dreadful there 
where you are part of the time. The only alleviation is that 
you are very busy. I have only time to get this to the mail. 
You say it will be there, that is, to you on the twenty-eighth. 
My other has not been gone half an hour. I am very thank 
ful for your letters today, dearest, and with truest love shall 
always be ^ ^ affectionately, SARAH 



From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Aug. 27th, 64 

DEAREST : The promise of a long letter last evening is broken. 
Blanche, Florence, and Mr. Owen had an invitation to Tyng s 
Pond; it was thought as well they should go. I did not wish 
to go and drove over at five to tell Fisher he must take my 
place. It was past six when they left his house. They re 
turned at eleven in the evening. That left me at Fisher s 
with no way to get home. About nine, Milton s boy came 
along with his father s old "shay," and brought me half way 
home, and then turned back to carry Mrs. Read on her way. 
When I reached home I found Col. Kinsman. The hour and 
half s talk with him left no time for you. Is it not odd that 
trifles displace, so often, things of more consequence? 

Col. Tirrel and a man from the machine shop called on me 
yesterday afternoon. They are working out guns for you. 
Tirrel said he wished you to see some guns somewhere in 
Connecticut, and sent you word to that effect, so that I have 
a fancy some duty may call you north as well as the pleasure 
of coming home. I sometimes fear I have urged you too much, 
but I do not think it will prove so. When you and Gen l. 
Grant have fully thought of it, and he is willing you should 
leave, there cannot in the course of a week or fortnight any 
thing chance that would be disastrous in your absence. Indeed 
I think it would worry me more than you if there should. 

Do you know, very much of the time I am very much afraid 
I may write what I ought not to. No doubt I flatter myself, 
and am very foolish to suppose that your moods are affected by 
mine. I do not think they are, only momentarily, but where 
one is dealing with thousands of people even a moment of 
wrong influence might do much mischief. So it is not unusual 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 115 

when I have sent away a letter to think how stupid ! why did 
I write that? But after all, it is useless to hedge oneself in 
that way. I must express myself, and the varying feelings, and 
contending passions that beset me, and the look of men and of 
nature as seen through my eyes, or my letters will be so meagre 
and threadbare you will not care to read them. It will not 
be me that writes but a thing I am trying to fashion to suit you, 
which would soon become a nonentity, made up of platitudes. 
I will express the evil and the good that is in me, life as it looks 
to me, let my own individuality have fair expression (it will, no 
matter how close I hedge), and if I hurt sometimes, I may be 
able to atone at others. 

I trust that like Benedict and Beatrice you and I are not 
"too wise to live peaceably," but that \ve are wise enough to 
bear much from each other for love s sake. I cannot say for 
Christ s sake. Neither you or I are lifted high enough above 
the things of Earth to make our rest there. That may come 
yet. In earnestness I wish it may. Do not think it flippant 
that I have said so here. It is written, and the letter must go 
in the next half hour. There is no chance for correction when 
one writes in this way. We drive down this afternoon though 
it rains every little while. I wish you were with us, dearest, 

so do the children wish it. ^ 7 c 

1 ours most truly, SARAH 

From Johnson Harvey to General Butler 

SANDWICH, DE KALB Co., ILLINOIS, August 28, 1864 

MY DEAR SIR: In the name of God and Humanity can 
nothing be done by the constituted authorities to terminate the 
sufferings of our brave boys confined as prisoners of war in the 
bull-pens at Andersonville, Ga.? 35,000, it is said, are there 
without shelter, clothing, or food sufficient to keep soul & 
body together, nearly two hundred are dying daily, while four 
hundred are raving maniacs already. 

Tens of thousands of these prisoners friends at the North 
have no rest night or day on their account. I am, Sir, 

Your most obedient and humble servant, JOHNSON HARVEY 

From General Butler to Johnson Harvey 

Head Quarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina 

DEAR SIR: Your letter reed. Our Govt. are doing all they 
can, and have made every offer that is consistent with our 



116 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

dignity to the Rebels to effect an exchange. I am, however, 
glad to be able to say that matters look more bright, and I 
hope ere long we will succeed in relieving our brave soldiers 

now in prison. 

/ ours 

From Colonel Shaffer to General Butler 

Head Quarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina 

FORT MONROE, VIRGINIA, August 29^, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: I have just arrived from the front to see 
poor Turner; he cannot live 24 hours. The Doctors all agree 
that he is past recovery. I feel very sad, as he was very dear 
to me. 

Everything was quiet when I left. Ord had entire charge of 
matters, and desired that no orders of any kind be issued for 
any purpose except by him. I of course was content, as I was 
relieved of all responsibility. Do I issue for Head Quarters 
by Ord s order what is needed? I think General Ord is dis 
posed to exercise authority while it lasts. He would not con 
sent to Heckman s Brigade going to N. C. for the present, and 
he moves slow in getting off 100 men, but all this makes little 
difference. I enclose you a copy of a call sent me by J. Austin 
Stevens. He says it was a compromise with all hands after I 
left. Governor Andrew had the principal hand in drawing 
it. He says it is being signed in all the states, to be put 
out immediately after the Chicago Convention. 

Nothing of importance to write about. There is of course 
much speculation among officers as to your being in Wash 
ington and New York. T , , 7 T ^ T 

In haste and love, J. W. SHAFFER 

Call referred to in Following Letter 

TO THE PEOPLE 

THE undersigned, citizens of the State of Ohio, and uncondi 
tional supporters of the National Government, convinced, 

That a Union of all loyal citizens of the United States upon 
the basis of a Common Patriotism is essential to the safety and 
honor of the Country in this crisis of its affairs, and 

That none of the Candidates for the Presidency already pre 
sented can command the united confidence and support of all 
loyal and patriotic men, 

Do Therefore respectfully invite their fellow-citizens of like 
views, in this and other states, to send delegates equal in num- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 117 

ber to their respective Congressional delegations to a CON 
VENTION to be held at CINCINNATI, on Wednesday, the 28th 
day of September next, for friendly consultation, and for the 
selection of Candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency 
of the United States, in the confident hope of securing through 
their election the early return of Peace, by conquering the 
Rebellion, and of maintaining the Integrity of the American 
Union, the Honor of the Government, and the Rights and 
Liberties of the People. 

From J. K. Herbert to General Butler 

CINCINNATI, OHIO, Aug. 27, 1864 
[Not in chronological order] 

MY DEAR GENERAL: This call is being signed by nearly 
everybody here. Groesbeck five Judges have given it the lead, 
and some of them are shoving it in person. Nothing ever hit 
this public so well, (so) I am told by such men as L. D. Camp 
bell, who has been working with me here for 48 hours, and just 
now gone home. 

I enclose you copies of editorials that I dictated to the 
Gazette & Times they were in this morning s and evening s 
papers. 

Knowing how much they wanted somebody to Jean upon at 
the Tribune and Post offices in New York, I have at my own 
expense telegraphed these two documents to Jno. A. Stevens, 
Jr. this P.M., asking him to give them to the papers, & saying to 
him that "every body is signing here." Hon. L. D. C. charges 
me to represent him in the meeting at Dudley Field s parlor 
on the 30th, as saying, "For God s sake, gentlemen, don t 
let up now let us go through and we will carry everything 
by storm." Ben. Eggleston bids us privately God speed - 
can t lead just now. Judge Stanley Mathews, a Lincoln 
elector in this city, signs the call and circulates it for signa 
tures. 

I have sent it to B. Gratz Brown, Z. Charde, Jno. Hickman, 
& others, with copies of the editorials enclosed. 

Every man I have met says, "Give me Butler." A great 
many here think it w r ould be wise to retain Johnson on the 
ticket as he is. Campbell is of those. 

I try to get this in the mail to-night go to New York to 
morrow night 10 o clock, may write at length tomorrow. All 
goes charmingly never was a more center shot at pub 
lic desire & aim, - - the whole prayer here is for the East to 



118 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

"stand firm" and have the Con. even if they ratify Mr. L s 
nomination again. 

I am much pleased with all I find west the best men & two 
papers are committed here so that they cannot back out. You 
shall hear from me, & I remain 

Faithfully, &c., J. K. HERBERT 

P.S. The Com. Gaz. & Times, have all told me they preferred 
you to any other man for Pres. 

From F. W. Bird to General Butler 

BOSTON, Aug. 31st, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: The bearer, my friend and business agent 
Mr. H. W. Presley, is experiencing some inconvenience in busi 
ness matters at Norfolk. 

He is a man of character, and you can rely upon his state 
ments. I have no doubt it is the result of a misunderstanding, 
and if he had been there, Gen. Shepley would have been satisfied. 

Whatever you can properly do, please do for him, as you 

wouldfor Your Obd t Serv t, F. W. BIRD 

From Colonel Shaffer to General Butler 

PERSONAL. FORT MONROE, September 2nd, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: I learn from Puffer that you will be de 
tained longer than you had expected. I learn this morning 
that Meade has gone North on short leave, and I am disposed 
to think that it would be well for you to get here as soon as 
you conveniently can. You know that your absence North 
creates much speculation, some of which is to your advantage 
and some not. 

I think just now that Grant wants some one to advise with 
and point out the dangers ahead. I may be mistaken, but 
I don t think I am, in the signs; we may escape trouble in the 
North, but I feel confident that we will have it. Bad blood 
is being engendered, and the Military will have to assume control. 
Mark what I say. Let the dissatisfied with the present 
nomination work, keep clear of these yourself. Your shots 
have been fired. You have nothing more to say, unless called 
out by a letter from a convention of loyal men. Such con 
vention will meet. Whether it will be of sufficient importance 
in point of numbers and character to authorize you to attach 
your fortunes to it, is a question for the future to decide. If 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 119 

it is of sufficient importance, I am for your throwing your 
strength with it, if not, then clearly your true role is the 
Soldier s. In playing that role, you can plead that your 
duties are in the field and not the political arena. Now, as 
to coming back as soon as possible, there are several reasons 
for it, 1st Ord is not able to manage the command. 2nd You 
have many enemies in the Army of Potomac who fear and 
hate you. Your absence gives them opportunity to talk. 
Third. You will escape any possibility of being compromised 
by being in the neighborhood of where the new political com 
binations are being formed. You will be able to point out to 
Grant the necessity of trimming his sails for the storm, as he 
is now reaching a point where he must be both Soldier and 
Politician (or if you like the word better, Statesman) . Certain 
it is the People are in a condition to be reasoned into any 
kind of crazy demonstrations by excitable and devilish leaders. 
And we all know when that point is reached that Mr. Lincoln s 
imbecility more than ever will show itself, and then the only 
safety is in a strong will and cool head at Army H d Qr s. 
That is your place. I have written you just as things look 
to me, and I have no doubt but that you see matters in the 
same light. 

Turner is improving slowly, but still is in a very critical 
situation. Please telegraph me when you will be here. 

Your Friend until the End, J. W. SHAFFER 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Sept. 3rd, 1864 

DEAREST: I will not write a word of the condition of the 
house, and the apathy and silence that steals in when friends 
go out, not to return for some time. 1 You were wise and 
kind when you asked me upstairs, and spoke those words 
that you thought would comfort me. I was growing more 
still and wretched every moment. I should not have sought 
you again. If you had left me with that feeling hardening 
at my heart, it would be ill for both of us. 

After our conversation of the night but one before, which 
I dreaded, dearest, many times more than you could, but -yet 
must have or suffer when you had gone, our minds were not 
attuned, as I thought they would be in a day or two, if you 
could stay so long. When you came to me and said a little 

1 General Butler returned to Lowell between Aug. 27th and Sept. 3rd, 1864. 



120 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

roughly, "I go this afternoon, see that my things are ready," I 
could not reconcile myself to it at once. And on your return 
from the office, when you began counting your money, and 
finally when I asked if you had anything to say and you 
answered, so indifferently, "No, nothing;" then grew the hard, 
wild feeling in my bosom, let me look elsewhere for the gentle 
ness and sympathy that he has no time or wish to give. He 
hates me ! I may find it with children or friends as something 
that will give help, but not here ! This was all very wicked, and 
I would not write it to you, but that you may see wherein you 
dealt wisely in speaking to me as you did before you left. 

Now, the house is not so dull, the children s voices are 
merry, and tomorrow we shall be so busy that the great change 
will not be so marked. They are all in bed now. Good 
night, dearest, very kindly. I am not unhappy, but very 
still and full of thoughts, that I should like to send, but when 
on paper they are not the ones I wanted. 

Friday morning. We are all very active today. There are 
a world of things to do for all of us. Gilman has sold the 
black horse for a hundred and twenty -five dollars. I really 
do not see why you should keep a horse and cow for another 
man s use. The hay and grain are very dear. Mr. Pearson 
looked solely to his own advantage, not yours, in his proposal. 
I will talk to him again, and see what it amounts to. You 
have the buckskin horse with you, worth a dozen like this; 
would it not be as well for Mr. Pearson to buy this horse and 
take care of him, even if he has him at a cheap rate? I will 
go down to Boston tomorrow with Blanche and look at your 
bust. Dr. Edson came this morning to call on you, and 
wishes me to send his regards. There are several things I 
wished to ask you about, but I forget them. --Your ward 
robe, if it should be sent home from Paul s, etc. When you 
are back at camp you will think of your visit with more pleasure 
than in the turmoil of meeting political people, and the excite 
ment of a city. You will think of me more kindly even than 
when you left, for you will see things just as they are. And 
you will be glad that I am, so truly and devotedly your own 
SARAH. 

From J. K. Herbert to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, D. C., Sept. 3, 1864 

MY DEAR GEN L. : I have just had a long interview with 
Sen. Chandler. I have not had time to write at length & be 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 121 

certain to reach you in time. But, briefly, he is sent here 
by Wade and others from the west to say to Mr. L., & he & 
Washburn & Harlan did say to him to-day, throw overboard 
your Cabinet or we can t save you. He is to see Mr. L. 
tomorrow again to get his ultimatum. 

He has telegraphed to Wade to meet him at the Astor 
House on Tuesday 5 A. M. He wants to see you by all means, 
and will try his utmost to get ready to come on with me to 
morrow night, but if he cannot he begs that you remain until 
he & Wade both can see you on Tuesday. Cannot you have 
Richardson or some of the boys telegraph me by "Indepen 
dent" telegraph tomorrow "Cannot" or "Can," meaning 
that you can or cannot remain until Tuesday. I assure you 
it is of the utmost importance for you personally. 

They want L. to put you in the War Dept. or say that he 
will make no change at all, when they are in favor of doing 
another thing that we have been laboring for. 

I won t write more but try to have you get this without 

fail. In the greatest haste, Tr f .,,/. 77 T T^ TJ 

Yours faithfully, J. K. H. 

From Erastus Wright to General Butler 

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, Sept. 4>th, 1864 

DEAR SIR: Allow me to suggest a thought touching this 
long, protracted, and bloody war. The great wickedness 
of this nation has been, and is today Slavery. The plague 
is in the hearts of the people. The leprosy is there. The 
curse is not removed. The nation has got to put away the 
Achans. The 7th chapter of Joshua might be read as easy 
as to make 50 Parrott guns, and if heeded, would be ten times 
more efficient. If one Achan put a "spell" on the whole 
Army of Israel, God s chosen people, and with Joshua, a 
Godly man, as commander, what might we expect from a 
score of Achans not alone in the army but some in the Cabinet. 
I had a talk recently with my old neighbor Father Abraham. 
I stand by him yet, although many of his best friends have 
their feelings alienated and wounded by his sympathy with 
slavery, as though there was any goodness in so Godless a 
wretch as a slaveholder. The curse has to be put away; 
and, dear Genl., I say again, put away the accursed thing 
or we ought to bleed. Yea! the Nation ought to be destroyed. 
We have joined issue with God, our Maker. The colored 
man is a human being, and is as precious in the sight of God 



122 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

as you and I, has a right to his wife and children as much as 
Mr. Lincoln, or his Godless master that has robbed him not 
only of wages his whole life, but the children and wife that 
God gave him. Dear General, if "God is no respector of 
persons," what penalty would be justly due the nation or the 
inhuman monster that would do to your family or Gen. Grant s 
as we have to the friendless, crushed slave? The crime of 
the horse thief, the highway robber, is nothing to the crime 
of robbing you of an immortal soul that God gave you, no 
comparison. 

We are bleeding as we richly deserve until we put away 
the Hellish thing and every sympathiser. There is no property 
in man. 

Talk of compensating so Godless a wretch as a slave monger ! 
It is an abomination. Since the move in Congress to that 
end, I laid the case before my God, and ardently desired its 
frustration. I wrote to many members who I am persuaded 
understand more of Law than Gospel, that the Divine Mind 
is clearly expressed in a case in point in Exodus 12th, 34 to 
37. Where God directed the Children of Israel (slaves) to 
borrow of the Egyptians (masters) their jewels of silver and 
jewels of gold and raiment, which they did, and Spoiled the 
Egyptians (masters) as all the slaveholders in America ought 
to be spoiled, for God knew they ought not and never would 
return them. This is God s rule, and this is Justice. Away 
with Compensation; away with the thought of property in 
man. Cast overboard every slaveholder or sympathiser 
with the Hellish System, whether in the cabinet or in Com 
mand in the army. The nation would be a hundred per cent 
stronger without them than with them. Halleck, Blair, 
Scofield, and I could name several in the cabinet. I solemnly 
believe it would be a God-send if they could be removed. 

I have, a number of times, heard it urged against volunteer 
ing. They object because of sympathisers with a system 
that God will curse, being kept in command. 

Every reading man knows it is a Damning Sin hence it 
is repulsive to his feelings and against enlistment. 

The change of commanders, McClellan or Fremont for 
Lincoln, will not alter the result: the Stain is in the heart 
of the Nation, and has got to be burnt out, until we shall not 
only be willing to "let the oppressed go free," but to define and 
plead their cause, not treat them with contempt like this 
skin-deep Christianity for the last 30 years; neither treat 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 123 

them as cotton bales as Gillmore is reported to have done at 
Fort Sumpter and brought disaster. Did not God see half 
that Regt. slaughtered, raw troops put in front? Sumpter 
is not taken yet. And let me say, dear General, as I keep 
the record a little, in every instance for the last 3J years of 
this Day of Penalty, where kindness and mercy have been 
shown toward the Slaves, God s favor has been manifested, 
and in every instance of inhumanity His wrath. Is one of 
those slaves to blame for this Judgment of the Almighty: 
if not, let him be released and defended. 

In the last 30 years, many in agony and torment have 
said in the words of the Prophet, " The Lord look upon it, and 
require it." The magnitude of the crime is indicated by the 
Penalty. 

If our penalty is not enough, let us hold on to the accursed 
thing a while longer. General, in yours to me in 1861, dated 
at Old Point Comfort, many were the high commendations of 
those who perused it. Can I ask the favor of a short answer. 
Also that this letter may pass under the eye of Lt. Gen. Grant, 
whose interesting good Lady and family I had the pleasure 
of travelling with up from Cairo just after the battle of Fort 

Donaldson. v , -^ ^ v 

1 ours truly, EEASTUS WRIGHT 

This letter, you say, too long for a Major General in com 
mand. I say, too much blood for slavery, slavery, slavery. 
Pleading for God s poor as he requires is honoring God, and 
God says, "them that honor me, I will honor." Hence the 
success of our noble General Butler. 

I profess to be a Bible man, and am satisfied, if slavery is 
not entirely put away, this nation will be destroyed. It is a 
damning sin as high as Heaven and deep as Hell. If God 
has heard the cry of the poor and come for deliverance, who 
shall hinder. Remember old Pharaoh, whose track we are 
following, was Pharaoh, and all his host turned into Hell, 
not a man escaped. If his slavery (for he never took wife or 
child), mild as it was, received the penalty of death, what 
misery and torment has this whole Nation merited for that 
same sin in superlative degree? All written "For our in 
struction." E. W. 



124 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Fifth Avenue Hotel, NEW YORK, Sept. 5th, 1864 

To the Editor of the Times 

ENCLOSED I send you a note from the Agent of Exchange of 
Prisoners to the Confederate Commissioner, Mr. Ould, in 
reply to his offer to accept in part proposition made by me 
eight months since, to exchange all prisoners of war held by 
either belligerent party. 

Without awaiting my reply, Mr. Ould has printed his offer, 
for which purpose it seems to have been made. I am therefore 
driven to the same mode of placing my justification of the 
action of this Government in possession of the public before it 
reaches the Confederate Commissioner. 

Respectfully, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, M aj. Genl. & Com. of Exchange 

From Hiram Barney 

Custom House, NEW YORK, Collector s Office, Sept. 6th, 1864 
[Not in chronological order] 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Army of the Potomac 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I was sorry not to see you again before 
you left the city. I write to say that your letter to Ould is 
the subject of universal admiration and praise. Men of the 
highest literary attainments and of excellent judgment in 
such matters have said that it is the ablest and most satis 
factory public document that has appeared during the war 
another said, "It is the best paper I ever saw." 

Let me congratulate you on this successful achievement. 
It is rare that a man handles both the sword and the pen 
with great skill and ability. 

I am always yours, HIRAM BARNEY 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

5ra AVENUE, Sept. 5th, 1864 

MY DEAR LITTLE WIFE: I am so glad that any act of mine 
can make you cheerful and happy. I have had not one 
moment to spare since I got here. I took the invitation of 
Mr. Barney to go out to his country house to spend Sunday, 
because I would not have myself complicated by all the 
politicians who insisted on calling upon me. He has a very 
fine country house about 12 miles from here. I found there 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 125 

his son and two daughters, one a little girl of fifteen and the 
other a miss of twenty, a fine girl. It so happens that I have 
not spoken to any other woman. Isn t that strange? Had 
a pleasant time came back this morning. The good news 
from Atlanta has set the people wild. I think one more 
success and Mc L s chances vanish. I wish you were here. 
I have nobody whom I can talk to when all the others are 
gone. Fisher and Florence went on Saturday. They were 
not on the train that ran off the track. 

How are you getting on at home? Get ready to come 
down with me as soon as possible, for I do want to see you 
very much. Could you see how everybody is afraid of the 
Administration you would then see how little can be done 
outside of regular nominating. I go down tonight and Parton 
goes with me, and is trying to persuade Mrs. Parton to go. 
Don t be jealous you will be well rid of an annoyance if 
she does go. I think you will hear of severe fighting near 
Petersburg soon, and I must be there. 

Goodbye, dearest, Your little note gave me great pleasure 
as they always do when they do not give me great pain to 
find you unhappy and sad. Be happy and love very much 
in spite of his faults - your husband BENJ R 



From Dudley Bean and Co. 

NORFOLK, Sept. 5th, 1864 

Gen. G. F. SHEPLEY 

WE respectfully ask permission to move from North West 
Locks, about 16 miles distant, to Norfolk, by the lighter 
"George Washington," No. 289, twenty-one bales cotton. 
This we purchased between the 20th of June and 12th of 
July last. It has already been greatly damaged by depreda 
tion and exposure to all weather. Crew of the lighter " Asariah 
Perkins" and one man (colored). 

Most respectfully, Yours, DUDLEY BEAN AND Co. 

From General Shepley 

Head Quarters, District of Eastern Virginia, NORFOLK, VA., Sept. 8th, 1864 

[Not in chronological order] 

APPROVED subject to condition that the applicant shall 
sell it only to the Agent of the United States. 

G. F. SHEPLEY, Brig. Gen. Comdg. 



126 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Count Adam Gurowski to General Butler 

LONG BRANCH, Sept. 7th, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: According to your kind permission, 
hereby included is the application of Mr. Moore for a permit. 
The list is carefully prepared according to the regulations of 
the War Department, and is perfectly in good faith. When 
you have endorsed, order to send and direct it to J. B. Moore, 
309 F Street, Washington. Neither bitters or brandy peaches 
are included, so your kind permit will release me body and 
soul. 

My dear General, allow me to talk politics. I am wholly 
upset. I have horror to vote for Lincoln, I wish from my 
soul to destroy McClellen. What to do? I consider that 
the nomination of McClellan can easily be beaten to pieces, 
and that our party ought to nominate a man for the emer 
gency. You leaders ought to do it. I die from impatience 
to be able to write for a man of my choice as you. 

And if A. Lincoln is elected, what security have the true 
patriots that you will have a preponderating influence in his 
councils, and that you will have a broad and grand space for 
action? I am perplexed almost to despair. 

Your truly devoted, GUROWSKI 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Sept. 7, 1864 

MY DEAREST SARAH: I am here in the house after a very 
stormy voyage down the bay. Mrs. Parton was as sick as 
you could be, and that is putting it strong enough. All 
nearly sick. Fisher is here, having come this morning. I 
am right off to the front this morning. There is no news 
whatever. 

The struggle will come between Lincoln and McClellan, 
and the latter, if he writes a patriotic letter putting himself 
squarely on the side of the country, has the best chance. 
Turner is much better it is believed he will recover. 
W T ebster is here all right. 

I send enclosed a lot of letters which I found waiting me 
here, and only wish I had found one letter, which I hope to 
do when the mail comes in. 

Yours truly as ever, my dearest, BENJ. 

P. S. The mosquitoes are terrible. B. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 127 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

Sept. 8, 1864 

MY DEAR SARAH : I am back in camp again, and oh ! so lonely 
after all! Why should I stay here fretting and laboring? 
Who will thank him who does it? I am sure I would not do 
this if I did not really think I could do my work better than 
any man in the country. Events have settled it better than 
any other way that Lincoln is to be run again, and again 
elected perhaps. I have therefore nothing to hope or to fear. 

A truce to this, however. I had much rather hear that 
you are peaceful and happy in your thoughts and feelings 
than that the election had gone one way or the other. You 
will come down, I suppose, in the course of thirty days, and 
then I think you can come for some time to the front. 

It is very cool here so cool as to need fires. Mrs. and 
Mr. Parton are delighted with theirs, only they see so many 
things to be delighted at. You will kiss the boys for me, 
and tell them their father loves them very much, and is very 
proud of them as good boys, and that they must study so as 
to grow up and fill his place and more too. 

I am writing in the morning, and the mail calls. 

Yours, dearest, BENJ. 

From General Butler 

Hdqrs. Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, in the Field, September 9th, 1864 

Hon. ROBERT OULD, Commissioner of Exchange of the 
Confederate Authorities 

SIR: I propose that the belligerent parties, waiving all 
other questions, shall from time to time exchange all sick and 
invalid officers and men w r ho from wounds or sickness shall, 
in the judgment of the party holding them, be unfit for duty 
and likely to remain so for sixty days. 

I make this proposition in order to alleviate the sufferings 
of those unable to bear the confinement incident to a prisoner 
of war, and whose condition might be benefited by the com 
forts of home and medical treatment by their friends. 

I trust and believe that this measure of obvious humanity 
will meet your agreement, as I am satisfied no advantage can 
accrue to either party by retaining such men in confinement. 
As a further evidence of the strong desire on the part of this 
Government to expose their soldiers to as little hardship as 



128 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

possible, consistently with such action as they feel called 
upon to take to observe their good faith, pledged alike to all 
soldiers, although it will involve the Government in a very 
considerable expense, yet, to save the sick and suffering a 
long and tedious transportation by rail, I will receive such 
invalid officers and soldiers of the United States as may be 
confined in the States of North and South Carolina and 
Georgia at Fort Pulaski, near Savannah, and will transport 
thither any such invalids of the Confederate forces as may be 
in our possession who can be more easily carried thither. 
Other invalid prisoners in the Western departments I will 
deliver at such points on the Mississippi River as may here 
after be agreed upon; the invalid soldiers of the United States 
to be received in exchange therefor who are convenient to 
those points. Full rolls of invalids so exchanged to be kept, 
so that the equivalents may be adjusted hereafter. 

Asking as early as possible attention to this proposition, I 
have the honor to be, very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General and 

Commissioner of Exchange 

Official Records, Series 2, Vol. 7, Page 793. 



From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the Field, Sept. 9th, 1864 

MY DEAREST WIFE: I do not like this camp life, and if I 
have to stay here I shall be sorry. I went home and tasted 
the sweets and comforts of domestic and home pleasures. 
I didn t know how much I was weaned from them, and how 
custom had made the tent and trundle-bed pleasant. Nothing 
has changed here at all. We are awaiting the arrival of men. 
Meanwhile, the canal is slowly progressing. We can hardly 
be said to do more than exist. 

Since I wrote you, Seward s speech has come to hand, and 
lest you should not get it I will send the Herald with it. 

Greely has given in his adhesion to Lincoln, and it is now 
him or nothing. Grant has written in favor of Lincoln. 
But the non-enforcement of the draft will kill them, I fear. 
The draft should be enforced. 

Turner is better and out of danger. Shaffer has gone to 
Washington. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 129 

My dearest wife, suppose you and I go home together, and 
stay there and not go away again. I believe that would be 

best. I am sick and tired of it all. 

i ours, BENJ. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Sept. 10th, 1864 

MY DEAREST WIFE, SALLY: How do you do this fine morn 
ing? You are not yet up, eh! Have you slept well? Did 
you dream of me? Or did you dream of snakes, having eaten 
salad over night? What will you have for breakfast? Mutton 
chops and a cantelope? Can t have it. Cantelopes all gone 
and sheep ran away. Coffee and toast and a tomato. Can t 
have eggs. Eggs are dear, but get up and I will tell you what 
I am doing. Well then nothing! 

We are waiting here for troops. Lee is massing all he can 
get for another attack on the Weldon Road, which we shall 
have in a day or two. Grant dined with me yesterday. He 
feels very much annoyed that there is to be no draft. Intends 
sending to the President to meet him at Fortress Monroe. 

All well here except that I have had an attack of the old 
complaint of the hotel. Turner is rapidly recovering. 
Shaffer has gone to Washington. Our mail has failed us. 
Baltimore boat has broken down. I have received but two 
letters from you one at Fifth Avenue and one directed to 
Fortress Monroe. There must be three or four behind. 
Write me, dearest, so that I may have some comfort. 

Yours, BENJ. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Sept. llth, 64 

DEAREST: There will be several days pass, and no letter 
from me. When the opportunity has gone we cannot recall 
it. Now, I should be glad if the letters were on the road. 
A letter for every day. But the days passed and I did not 
write them. 

There were none from you until yesterday. Two came 
together. Yes, there was one from N. York, written the 
week before. Your stay was longer there than at home. 
And it seems without any expected result. I mean that 
nothing anticipated was accomplished. If either of these 
men are elected (as one must be I suppose), it does not look 
as though your opportunities would be very good. Yet they 
VOL. v 9 



130 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

may. Men and politics change so rapidly that one cannot 
look four months ahead, and judge with any certainty of 
what may occur. Your brightest hopes at present must be 
in the field and with Grant. To look forward the next four 
years, with no better rule for the country than that of the 
last four, is disheartening. But it must be borne. But yet 
I think you will find enough to fill the time very much to 
your satisfaction. I should be very glad to be nearer to you. 
My mind acts more freely when close to the scenes of action, 
and in daily contact with those engaged in the strife of either 
war or politics. I hope Weitzel will soon return to you. 
I am not sorry that Shaffer leaves. You will find it lonely 
for a few days after the excitement of the last fortnight. But 
soon you will be so actively engaged you will hardly have 
time to speak to me when I arrive. Mrs. Parton, too, will 
make the days lively while she is present. But with all the 
pleasure that she or others have the charm to give, you must 
yet "remember to keep promises, love." 

Harriet, Paul, with Mr. and Mrs. Pearson, go up to stay a 
week with old Dr. Richardson. They start tomorrow. I 
have two dressmakers in the house, and have worked so 
much ripping and cutting that one of my eyes became in 
flamed. That is one reason why I did not write every day. 
I shall look for a letter from you tomorrow, and that will 
give me spirit to write again. This work must be done, but 
I hate it all. 



Mrs. Ames was here this week. If I think of it when I see 
you, I will tell you some of her stories of Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln 
and her adventurous (or ess!) self. 

I felt disgusted, I must confess, that he should give her 
opportunity to mix herself with himself and wife, though not 
dishonorably yet not altogether creditably, and give her the 
chance to boast of it. And pretend to call in question the 
conduct of a lady holding the highest position in the land for 
want of courtesy to Mrs. Ames! Pshaw! it goes against the 
grain to hear it. 

They are waiting for me. Goodbye. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 131 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the field, Sept. llth, 1864 

MY DEAR LITTLE WIFE: Another day has passed by like all 
the rest, save that I have been quite sick. I began to fear 
that I should have chills and fever, but I trust I am not. 
Here we are waiting for men and nothing being done to get 
them. I verily believe the rebels are getting their men faster 
than we are. 

We have had no mail for two days, and I do not know 
when we are to get another, but I suppose we shall get one 
sometime. I have had but two letters from you since I left 
home. 

How are you getting on with your arrangements for coming 
away? You may get ready, as I hardly suppose that I shall 
stay in Lowell this winter in any event. The mail is ready, 
my own love, and so goodbye 

J3ENJ. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., in the Field, Sept, 12, 64 

I HAVE rec d the following despatch from Deep Bottom. 
"Rebels say on this line that they attacked us at Ream s 
Station last night and were badly whipped." 

Have you any information on it? Please answer. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

Sept. 12, 1864 

MY DEAREST SALLIE: What is the matter with you? 
Couldn t you be without a letter a single day and not make 
up faces? I agree I did no good in going to New York so 
soon, for there was nothing to be done, but I left New York 
Monday night. 

As for the sons of Mr. Barney they were somewhat 
commonplace, as indeed were the daughters. Neither in 
terested me. 

I am thinking that you will find out after a while who is the 
most attentive in writing and who values letters most. I 
have written every day, and I only got two letters last night. 
I send you the key of my pistol box, presented me by the 



132 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Sanitary fair. Write me if the box comes. What has hap 
pened to the children that you do not mention them? Perhaps 
you think I do not want to hear from them. There you are 
mistaken. You see, I am in ill-humor this morning, as I am 
still sick. I do not know what ails me. I have no appetite, 
am feverish, nauseated, and feel aches and pains all over. 
If I had you to nurse me, I would go to bed and be sick, but 
it won t do in camp, and so I shall keep up. You mustn t 
expect, therefore, a long letter or a pleasant one from yours, 
dearest, BENJ. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the Field, Sept. 13th, 1864 

MY DEAR SARAH: No mail last night no letter, so be 
tween the vagaries of the mail and your little whims I think 
I am hardly used, don t you? I am better this morning, I 
hope permanently. The truth is, I have been very unwell 
for three days past, and began to fear that I had contracted 
the fever of the climate. 

Nothing on earth is going on here to relieve the tedium. 
As to politics, I see nothing yet to give a clew to a change. 
Grant has written a letter in favor of Lincoln, in fact. 

What are you all doing at home? How are the boys? 
How s Blanche? How s your little self? "last not least" 
and best, with your little whims, humors, and fancies. . . . 

Goodbye dearest, . . . BENJ. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the field, Sept. 14, 1864 

MY DEAREST WIFE: No letter again last night. I suppose 
the mails broke down again. Fisher is here. Shaffer came 
up last night, just from Washington. All are confident there 
of Lincoln s election. Everything quiet here. I had a 
visitation in the shape of Dudley Bean. Oh, but he is a true 
man and so deep ! Slimy too makes you feel like a snake 
was running over your naked foot while he is talking, a green 
snake. He had seen McClellan. Had I seen McClellan? 
No! Had heard I had. I could elect him. McClellan knew 
it. Dr. Marcy said so. Dr. Marcy is McClellan s wife s 
brother, a remark-a-a-bly a-a-ble man. Haven t seen McClellan 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 133 

since 62. Well, I declare. Perhaps I didn t think McClellan 
could be elected. Not on the platform. Well, to be sure, 
that is an objection, etc. etc. 

Now, having said nothing in all that conversation, what do 
you suppose the scamp will say I said. I am getting better, 
I believe, and I hope to be quite well. Dr. McCormick, who 
returned last night, advises me to go down to the fort to get 
well, but I guess I shall get over it without that. There is 
no attraction at the fort now. Goodbye, dearest, I would 
give a good deal for a kiss and good morning. -r. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Sept. Hth, 64 

DEAREST: You write that you are ill, or rather that you 
are recovering from sickness. There is no great earnestness 
in your letter, as if you cared much for it, or anything. You 
do not ask me to hurry my arrangements, nor was it worth 
while, the time will roll round and gradually they will become 
complete. 

Do you still find it lonely and wearisome? With sickness 
added it must be tedious. But you have not said you would 
be glad if I were there, and so I have no excuse for hurrying. 
My impatience of all these irksome things inflicts a special 
discipline, well devised no doubt for present and future benefit. 
Ah, my love, you do not miss me much, not as I have you! 
"But travelers must be content. Aye, be so, good Touch 
stone!" 

Yesterday Judge Morgan rode up in the rain, simply to 
call on me and send his regards to you. I urged him to stay 
over night, but he could not. So many have said Banks was 
dead and buried. I told Shaffer, who scouted all future 
attempts on his part, that in one year he would again be an 
object of admiration. In less time he rises, not with "twenty 
mortal gashes on his head," but from defeat and the basest 
stigma on his character to take a seat in the Senate. Judge 
Morgan says he will be sent from Louisiana. Could anything 
be more delightful to him or Mrs. Banks? Those lovely lace 
dresses will make the Washington ladies wince with envy. 
Sustained by Seward, and coming in with a new beginning of 
the Administration, what position could be better? Morgan 
says McClellan has not a chance, that his letter has killed 
him, that he is not a peace but a war democrat, and that his 



134 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

platform does not differ from Lincoln s. Now, I supposed 
there never was a chance for him if he represented the peace 
party, and that in fact he had taken the right ground for 
success. So you see how opinions differ. 

When Judge Peabody was here, he asked me to speak to 
you of a case of yours that Durant has charge of, now left in 
the courts, which he thinks should be discharged, not left to 
hang there, perhaps to be again called up. If Durant will 
move it, he is ready to aid, and Banks is willing to dismiss it. 
That is all I know of it. It seems Durant did not think it of 
much consequence. 

I should be very glad to look in upon you tonight to know 
if you are well. And you, how would you like to see me 
walk in? I surprised you once that way. Where is the 
officer who had the gallantry to ride so far that night? He 
was sensible and gentlemanly. I meant to remember his 
name and urge his promotion. Well, dearest, would you 
like to see me! "Yes, very well if you did not weary me with 
asking the question." Goodnight, goodnight. 

Thursday morning. The day is breezy and beautiful. If 
you were here we would go out for a picnic. Our time in 
Lowell is nearly finished. We shall never live here for any 
length of time again. I will write you my views one of these 
days. Or maybe wait till I see you. I try to hurry the 
time, and know I am foolish to do it. 

Yours, dearest, most affectionately, SARAH 

From George Wilkes to General Butler 

PRIVATE. NEW YORK, Sept. 15th, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: Since writing you on Tuesday I have seen 
Gov. Curtin and received a letter from Winter Davis. The 
former says he will send a delegation to Cincinnati, and Davis 
says he will do the same from Delaware if I will say the word. 
I thought the best I could do, therefore, was to put them in 
correspondence with one another. 

After I left you at the Fifth Ave. Hotel, it struck me we 
should not have to consult the Lincoln powers at all to proceed 
with the machinery of our convention, and hence the position 
of my leader. It strikes me yet, if we could only get a con 
vention together we could make it the master of the situation, 
in despite of the Lincoln influences. 

I confess, however, the prospect now looks very slim. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 135 

Stevens virtually deserted when he went out of town. When 
he came back I overhauled him, and during an hour s council 
at Field s office had it settled that he should print the call on 
Wednesday morning last, in all the dailies, supported by four 
columns of indiscriminate names. It appeared to me that such 
an apparent popular ground-swell would be more imposing than 
any 40 or 50 signatures, however good; but Stevens unfortu 
nately failed again. Greely s defection and the Maine election 
quite took the starch out of him. If you have any suggestions 
to make, or directions to give, I will gladly follow them. 
Moreover, if strong measures are ever necessary to save the 
country, please bear in mind that there is one man in New York 
who will gladly risk all he has to take a part in them. 

Very respectfully yours, GEORGE WILKES 

From George Wilkes to General Butler 

OFFICE WILKES Spirit of the Times, 201 WILLIAM ST., N. Y., Sept. 15, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: I have already mailed a note to you this 
morning, but since then it has struck me that if the Convention 
fails, we can at least call mass meetings in every state, and 
request the people to inscribe their preferences on their ballots, 
by way of instructing the President how to form a Govern 
ment, and also as a protest against his inferiority and un- 
worthiness. 

It would be a noble proof of the intelligence and patriotism 
of this people to see them accept, through their electors, a 
man for President whom they could thus be made to repudiate 
by a vote of two to one. 

If Mr. Lincoln, thus rebuked, could not be forced to retire, 
in favor of the successful name, the result would, at least, so 
humble him that he would be tractable to the public wishes in 
the future. 

Please let me know how this strikes you as a dernier resort? 
Would it not be in fact an election, and under certain ultimate 
moral (?) pressure as good an election as we want? 

This will enable us, here, to get gracefully out of the failure 
of the Cen. Convention, and, if you think well of it, I will 
propose the change of programme next week. 

A telegram with a simple affirmative signed by Col. Shaffer 
will instruct me. 

This seems to me to be better than sinking to the earth 

without a sign! Tr , f 77 n ^r 

Very respectfully, yours, (JEO. WILKES 



136 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

P. S. Under this programme, organization would have to 
be formed of course on one particular name, and committees 
take charge of printing the endorsed ballots in all the states. 
I think the people would be so tickled with this idea that old 
Abe. would not get a J vote. I go to press on Monday. G. W. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Sept. 15th, 1864 

MY DEAREST SARAH: Where do you think I am writing this? 
Why, at Fortress Monroe to be sure, sitting in your chamber at 
the head of your bed on the same little table that you write on, 
and hardly realizing the fact that you may not speak any minute. 
But why are you writing there? say you. Well, to tell the truth, 
I have been trying to be sick, so McCormick insisted that I 
should come down to the fort and take a sweat last night. So 
down we came (mind I am not the least sick enough for a doc 
tor), got here about 9 o clock, found Webster gone to Norfolk 
and not to return we didn t know when, and all the keys gone 
with him. So we broke open the door to our room, heated 
some water, I took a warm bath, a preparation by the doctor, 
a warm toddy, two bottles of hot water to my feet, and went 
to bed, with six blankets on and sweat "powerful." Not a 
wink of sleep did I get, however, the doctor s opiate was so 
strong that it kept me broad awake. The mosquito bar was 
so wrong that it fell down on my nose, affording the mosquitoes 
a resting place while they bit me. I woke up this morning, 
however, very considerably better, that is, the threatened fever 
has gone and left me powerful weak. 

Gen. Grant goes north to the Valley tonight, so I shall go 
back tomorrow. Don t argue that I am sick from all this, 
not so I was only afraid I was going to be sick. 

I got your two notes this morning. I am impressed with 
the unhappy tone of them. Why is not all well with you? 
I try to make it so, but you seem determined not to let me 
do so. I am glad I did not get them last night, as they would 
have been sad bed-fellows in the long, uneasy night. You 
speak of hopes for the future. I haven t any the future 
is now here to me. All that I am, all that I am to be, I am 
now. In fact, it may be that this thing existence or being 
called I, elevated or depressed, may be expanded or com 
pressed thereby, but not to the consciousness of I. Therefore 
the future is here, for it can bring to me fears none, hopes few, 
and expectations from it none. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 137 

I hope Harriet will receive some benefit from the Lancaster 
journey, but I think not, save in the change of scene. You 
ask me to think of you. There is no need of that. I do so 
think of you very much more and more as this future comes 
nearer and nearer, but, my dearest, it is beneath you to write 
me admonitions which are reproaches. If you will read the 
letters I have received since I came from home you will see 
what I mean, and then understand why I was then, still am, 
and ever shall be sure that I was right, and should have re 
mained steadfast in that right of not speaking of any thing 
that should not be spoken of. I knew too well the result, 
foresaw it, and was fool enough to be persuaded into changing 
what was a lifetime conviction upon some supposed idiocy 
that you were not like other women. Now you have a right 
to write me such admonitions, but you had better not. I do 
not think it will help the condition of either of us for me to 
receive such warnings as can be found in the old copy books, 
"Evil communications corrupt good manners," "Be virtuous 
and be happy," "Remember your promise," etc. etc. AVe 
might as well begin with, "In Adam s fall we sinned all." 
What do I most deserve? Eternal torment in hell from 
which I have been mercifully saved through the sacrifice of 
my blessed Savior, and so through the Catechism. I have 
had gentlemen friends to whom I never could exhibit a weak 
ness without being perpetually reminded of it whenever I saw 
them. "Do you remember, Butler, how tight you were that 
night? etc." Or one never meets you without he commences, 
"Do you remember how you used to live in that little house 
under the hill? etc." "It wasn t such a grand house as you 
live in now." Or, "Have you seen Jo Brindlet, that you hit 
with your stick because he called you a little cock-eyed devil?" 
Does ever one like to meet such reminders? How far will 
one go out of the way not to meet one of them? T*ENJ 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Sept. 16th, 1864 

DEAREST: Now I know you are sick from your letter. It 
is, as you say, a little bit ugly. But I do not mind that. 
I am troubled that you are ill. I shall look early for a letter 
from you today. If you are ill, you must not wait to write 
but telegraph to me at once. I can leave on the day, as I 
did Fortress Monroe. I depend on this, and shall not be 



138 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

easy till you promise it. I do not like your symptoms as you 
describe them. They are something like those that belong 
to the breakbone fever. That is not dangerous, I think, but 
very troublesome. Tell Dr. McCormick to write me word 
what ails you. And do not keep me from coming an hour if 
you are down to the bed. Now, dearest, trusting that this 
letter will find you better, I shall answer the remainder of 
yours. You mistook me a little. It was for Blanche I was 
interested to know of the sons. You know I like the old 
gentleman, and fancy his sons would be agreeable. The 
daughters are less objects of interest, except to compare with 
her. And I suppose that under it I wanted to spite you a 
little. You must see, it was a trial of patience to have you 
leave in that abrupt way, and then detained for nothing. I 
knew well enough you must go, and the likelihood that you 
would be detained, still I could not feel indifferent for we do 
not always govern, but are governed by our feelings. Have 
I made the amends, you testy baby of the family? If I have, 
kiss me this minute, and do not prate any more that you 
cannot write me "long, and pleasant letters." Is it long, 
or love letters? I cannot exactly decide which word you 
have written. But you will write both long and loving letters, 
if you are not sick. No, mine are the long letters. Yours 
shall be the loving, short and sweet! Is not that fair? But 
if you are sick, I will be long, loving, and of infinite kindness 
and tenderness, so that you will like to have me near you every 
moment. 

Did I not write of the children? That is because nothing 
would do but / must monopolize all your attention. That 
was very contemptible. To begin with, our lovely eldest, 
she is growing so full and ruddy, she looks like luscious fruit, 
grown in a sheltered spot that the sun has kissed and ripened 
to delicious perfection. The richest peach Benny has brought 
in his basket cannot compare with the color in her cheeks. 
He has displayed the treasures he has gathered this morning, 
and piled them all about me, tempting with the white and 
pink, the deep yellow and bright crimson, explaining the 
superior quality, flavor, and juiciness of each. Paul and 
Harriet are at Dr. Richardson s, return in a few days. Now 
I must take room to write you about a horse, sent here yester 
day. A boy brought him with a bill of expenses, three dollars, 
from Boston. Frazer says he was sent from New York. 
Have you ordered one home from the Fort? Frazer says 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 139 

he is wholly worthless. Blind, poor, and has the heaves. 
He is afraid to put him with the other horses, and will turn 
him into the field. Did you send a horse, or is this a practical 
joke? What shall we do with him? Ah, I did not finish 
with Blanche, I was so afraid I should forget the horse. Yester 
day she wore a lovely green muslin, an easy fit four weeks 
ago, and truly it is very becoming to her with the splendid 
color in her cheeks. Unfortunately, she was compelled to 
sneeze the belt burst asunder, and the buttons flew off at 
the neck. She looked, as Trifle has said, like a carnation just 
bursting from its pod. The "Swan" is well and happy, and 
full of love for his father. In most things he imitates his 

mother. ^ 

Y ours as ever, SARAH 

From General Butler 

In the Field, Sept. 17th, 1864, 3.45 P.M. 

Lt. Gen. GRANT, at BALTIMORE, Care of Maj. Gen. WALLACE 

ALL is quiet along the entire line. Yesterday afternoon 
three brigades of Hempton s Cavalry turned our left, and 
struck cattle corral about seven miles below City Point. 
Captured about (2000) two thousand head of cattle and one 
telegraphic construction party. A cavalry force was sent 
out to cut them off, also Hancock moved to intercept them 
with a division of infantry. The result is not yet known. 
Rumor is that the cattle are recaptured. They broke the 
telegraph lines so that we send to Powhatan, will advise 
farther through Gen. Wallace to send you at Burlington. 
The line will be repaired this evening. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 1. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Meade 

In the Field, 4.20 P.M., Sept. 17 th 

HAVE you any information concerning the captured cattle 
or movements on the left? BENJ R BUTLEB> Maj Gm , L 

From General Butler 

In the Field, Sept. 17th, 1864 

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, PHILADELPHIA 

YOUR note to me at New York just received. Is it not 
possible for you to come here? I think it would be worth 

while BENJ. F. BUTLER 



140 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 
From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Sept. 17th, 64 

DEAREST: I have two letters from you today, one from 
Bermuda Hundred, the other from the Fortress. You have 
been ill. You say you are better. When you wrote of course 
you thought so. But you could hardly tell so soon after a 
sweat. If you are incautious after such a night I know 
how bad it will be for you. The Doctor will be careful if you 
will allow him. Do submit to his directions. But I need 
not weary you with urging it. My letter will reach you 
after the critical time. Your letter from the Fort was long, 
dearest, the longest you have written me. A part of it (only 
that you were writing from a sick bed) was very pleasant. 
The remainder was almost cruel. I have read the letters that 
you returned me. But I do not see in them what you describe. 
I have no cause to admonish, no reason to reproach. I miss 
you, dearest, sometimes very much. At others I am busy, 
and the time runs on easily. When I miss you most, there 
may be a sadness in my letters, but if there is bitterness I do 
not know it. When I remember how little time men have 
for the feeling that absorbs so much of woman s life, that 
theirs is made up of action, as it should be, then I think, he 
has no time for me. And like a child or foolish girl I write, 
"do not forget" "do you wish to see me?" "remember your 
promise!" "you must be tired of my letters!" etc. But 
there is no ugly feeling in this. I recollect you did not like 
it when you first went up the river. And wrote me a little 
coldly that it implied a doubt, that "I ought to be convinced 
by this time that I possessed a reasonable share of your affec 
tion." But I am sometimes an unreasonable woman. But I 
will admit that all those phrases are silly. They belong to 
youth and not to me, to a period of life when reason has not 
the greatest ascendency; to a time when hopes, fears, doubts, 
and passion chase each other in endless succession. To 
boyhood and girlhood, not to manhood and womanhood. 

In this way I admit that you are right. And know that my 
letters are commonplace enough, sometimes, though that 
is not what you meant. This one of yours is harsh, though 
you may not think it unjust. Your sickness may make you 
irritable, or your hopes are not so high, and that disturbs 
you. I do not wish to think that I am the only cause. I 
could weep at your letter, but shall not. It is not sadness 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 141 

you want, but a cheerful, happy, contented, trusting wife. 

Yours most truly, SARAH 

Sunday. You have broken no habit, altered no life-time 
conviction, in what you have said to me. You ought not to 
bemoan it as folly that you gave me another picture, less 
terrible than the one already limned in my mind, which you 
did not give me. If you mean in saying "like other women" 
that I have urged your confidence meanly, to abuse it, you do 
me injustice and injury. I was grateful for your confidence 
though it was limited, in my heart I was grateful, and am so 
still. I have not written one word with a thought to annoy, 
but if I have done so, what is the difference not much I 
think. Once more adieu. If you want me, if you are still 
sick, I will not wait for the family. They can come after. 
The pistol-case came last night. 

From General Butler 

In the Field, Sept. ISth, I* M. 

Lt. Gen. GRANT, Care of Maj. Gen. WALLACE, 

BALTIMORE (To be forwarded) 

ALL perfectly quiet. The cattle were not recaptured. 
Deserters are coming in, all reporting exertions making to fill 
up the army. No change in disposition of troops in our 
front. No cannonading of consequence during the morning 
or last evening. Line repaired and working to Fortress 

Monroe. T^ T ^ >; 

BENJ. r . BUTLER, M aj. Gen I. 

From Simon Cameron to General Butler 

PRIVATE. Union State Central Committee Rooms, No. 1105 Chestnut Street, 

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. ISth, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: There is a young Lieutenant of Artillery 
who left his law office at the first outbreak of the rebellion to 
come and help us as a private in the first company that reached 
Washington, and to whom I tendered the commission he 
now holds, and for whom I have great regard and feel much 
interest. There seems to be no promotion in his corps, and 
I have tried often, and generally without success, to have 
him placed under the care of some general. The people at 
Washington always have had some excuse for not being able 
to oblige me. 



142 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Last year, when Couch was preparing to run away, he was 
at home on sick leave and against the advice of his doctor 
he came here and offered his services to Gen. Smith, who made 
him Chief of Artillery, and while Smith was in Maine he 
was retained by him. My object is now to gain for him your 
notice. His name is Charles P. Muhlemberg, of Battery A, 
5th Artillery, 18th Army Corps, now Petersburg. He is in deli 
cate health; and to save him from resigning until the war 
closes I would be greatly obliged, if you could place him on 
some detached service at Fort Monroe or near your person. 

You will find him a faithful and attached friend, with great 
intelligence. His family have controlled in this state since 
the time of the revolution, and there has never been a trickster 
or coward or traitor of the name. I will esteem anything you 
can do for him a great personal favor. 

We will carry the state, and thus help you to capture Rich- 

Yours truly, SIMON CAMERON 
From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

In the Field, Sept. ISth, 1864 

MY DEAREST WIFE: You see I am back again to my old 
tricks, having entirely recovered my health, I think. 

Your letters are very irregular, and I missed yesterday s 
mail coming up here as that went down. You wish to know 
why I do not say that I wish you to come back? You know 
I never tease. It is quite enough that you should desire to 
come back, and that I should have arranged it and expected 
it without my continually annoying you, making you home 
sick, with questions upon the subject. I assume you will 
come as soon as you can, that you desire to do so, and that 
you will do everything you can to come, and am therefore 
satisfied. This ought to be satisfactory, is it not? 

I should be glad to look in upon you this fine Sunday morn 
ing to take some beans and fish-balls and coffee, but alas, 
I cannot. 

What do you intend to do about closing the house? We 
shall go on here all winter, I think. I reckon you may as well 
make up your mind to do so. There is no political news 
that I hear. All is quiet. 

Yours most truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 143 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. 19th, 1864, 10.5 A.M. 

Brig. Genl. SHEPLEY, NORFOLK 

I HAVE ordered one Co. of the New York Mounted Rifles 
to report to you at Williamsburg. I have also ordered the 
remains of the Wisconsin Regt., about one hundred (100) men, 
to report to you for duty to relieve the 27th as Jail guards, 
the men of which will be ordered to join their regiment. I 
would not at present relieve the negro troops, as a Provost 
Guard in the city of Norfolk [which] must be fully settled by 
perfect quiet before we can consent to relieve them. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Sept 19th, 1864 

WE have 4500 infantry, old troops. 4000 new Pennsylvania 
troops. 2500 negro troops at Deep Bottom. 4000 at Dutch 
Gap. 2 brigades of a thousand each has gone across river to 
City Point, now on the march. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Sept. 19th, 1864, 1.20 P.M. 

Brig. Gen. BENHAM, Commanding Defences, CITY POINT 

I HAVE ordered two Brigades to cross the river at pontoon 
bridge, to march toward the Old Court House and report to 
you. You will send a staff officer to the Point of Rocks road 
to direct the march of the troops upon such points or point 
as may be desired upon the information or direction of 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 
From General Butler 

Army of the James, Sept. 19th, 1864, 1.30 P.M. 

Brig. Gen. SHEPLEY, NORFOLK 

HAVE you heard or seen anything of the enemy in your 
neighborhood? Answer. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 



144 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to General Meade 

Sept. 19th, 1864, 1.45 P.M. 

DESPATCH received. I have ordered two brigades of Gen. 
Heckman s Division to proceed at once toward the old Court 
House, and report to Gen. Benham. 

I have also ordered Gen. Benham to send a staff officer to 
meet the troops at Point of Rocks road, and direct them to 
march upon the point agreed upon between you and him. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen L Comd g. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

In the Field, Sept. 19th, 1864, 

MY DEAR WIFE: I will kiss you this minute, once, twice, 
three times, and make up, so you don t do so again. 

As to the horse, tell Frazer to feed him very well, keep him 
well groomed, and fetch him up. Why, he is as good blood 
as Godolphin, only he has been abused. I am afraid you do 
not know about horses. He is worth, I don t know how many 
thousand dollars. He is Frantz Cheatham s thoroughbred, 
and sire to a long line of illustrious sons. He is like old china, 
or old yellow, dingy-looking, thread lace, of which nobody 
can see the value but the owner, and those that fancy it. 
Practical joke! indeed is it possible that this famous horse 
has come to that! Seriously, it may be more than he is 
worth, but tell Frazer to fatten him up. 

I am better, thank you, and I do not know but quite well, 
and I will write you certainly whenever I am sick. I had 
Fisher for nurse, and he is a pretty good one. 

Grant is away up at Burlington, N. J., where he has taken 
a house. Will be back tomorrow. We have lost a large herd 
of cattle near City Point by the raid of the enemy s cavalry, 
almost two million dollars worth. It was an enormous 
blunder. It has almost paid the enemy in supplies for cutting 
off the Weldon road. However, I suppose nobody will be 
blamed for it. Weitzel will come back tomorrow. Shaffer 
leaves this week. I shall relieve Davis today. Shepley is 
getting on very well at Norfolk, I believe. 

Make that tall daughter of ours ride horseback every day for 
exercise. She does not take enough. She can ride the colt 
easily, not the least trouble in the world. Tell her she must do 
it. I hope to see you soon, as I suppose the fitting and trim- 
ming is nearly done now. Mosf ^ ^ BENJ p R 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 145 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the Field, Sept. 20, 1864, 7.15 A.M. 

MY DEAREST LITTLE WIFE: You are not up yet, but lazily 
stretching yourself in bed. Why don t you get up don t 
you see I am up writing to you before breakfast? 

There is no news here whatever except the return of Grant, 
who got back last night. Shaffer leaves today. Weitzel has 
not got back yet. Fisher is here goes down this morning. 

I send you a bill of that furniture. See if it compares with 
the bill you have in the house. If so, send it back. When do 
you think Harriet will be able to come back? Has her trip 
done her any good? 

I don t think the rubbing will do Paul any good he is 
over that now. 

Write me all the news, and believe me, as the mail closes, 
yours, with many kisses (if you are good), 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, September 2<tth, 1684, 9.15 A.M. 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Sec. of War, WASHINGTON, D. C. 

I HAD the honor to ask authority for the recruitment of 
another regiment from prisoners of war at Point Lookout, 
for service on the Northern frontier. This is recommended 
by the Lieutenant General. Having heard nothing from the 
communication I presume it miscarried. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. IQth, 1864, 9.45 P.M. 

Brig. Genl. PAINE, DEEP BOTTOM 

PLEASE send me an exact analytical report of your Division 
showing first where every man is. I do not like the way 
your division is detailed about. I am inclined to get it 
together. Also a list of all vacancies of officers with such 
promotions as you can approve. I have not received an 
answer yet to my proposition that you should examine such 
candidates for promotion in your division as I shall from time 
to time send you. ^^ R BUTLERJ M(y . 



VOL. V IO 



146 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

In the Field, Sept. 21, 1865 

MY DEAREST SALLY: Your nice letter came to me when I 
was very dull. Write me in your own mood whether grave 
or gay. I shall like them all. We have made no move here 
yet. 

Sheridan has gained really a great victory over Early in 
the Valley, capturing some five thousand of his alive and 
wounded prisoners, and a large number of his dead. We have 
fired a hundred guns in honor of the victory. Grant is very 
happy over it, as he went up and arranged the battle. 

I have quite recovered. Weitzel has got back. I do not 
understand why you should now delay a very great while at 
home. Certainly not longer than the 1st. When you leave 
the house, have all the water drawn off from the pipes - 
down in the cellar there is a shut-off. Therefore leave open 
all the cocks except the one that shuts off the water. 

I will send you Parton s letter. He seems to have been 
much pleased with the visit. Many kisses to you and love 
for the children. Slap Blanche for me she is looking so 
fat and saucy. BENJ R 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. list, 1864, 1.20 P.M. 

Lt. Genl. GRANT, CITY POINT 

TELEGRAM received. Orders will be given for the utmost 
vigilance to watch any movement of the enemy, and prompt 
advantage of it taken. BENJ p BUTLER> Maj ^ 

From General Butler 

TELEGRAM. Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. %Ist, 1864 

Lt. Gen. GRANT, CITY POINT 

I HAVE an old regiment dismounted, the 1st Maryland 
Cavalry. Our cavalry force is very much diminished here. 
Is it possible to mount them? May I request you to order 
the horses from the Cavalry Bureau to mount them. 

By an order of the War Dept., 8 companies of our cavalry, 
armed with Henry rifles, have been ordered to the other 
army, and these are to replace them. 

Respectfully, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 147 

From General Butler 

Army of the James, in the Field, Sept. 2Ist, 1864 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

I AM about to make a move with my cavalry. It is of the 
utmost consequence that I have eight hundred (800) Spencer 
rifles and (80,000) eighty thousand rounds of ammunition. 
The requisitions are long since in. May I ask you thus 
informally to see that I get them? Please notify me by 
telegram so that I can make preparations as though I had 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 
From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Sept. 21**, 1864 

DEAREST: Your letter this afternoon is very pretty. Not 
a bit savage, and by no means so grave as the one I had this 
morning. I am very glad. It puts me in miserable spirits, 
and unfits me for work, when there is not the kindness, gentle 
ness, and consideration, that we ought to have, in short, 
when we are ugly and show it. Then it w r orries me exces 
sively. I do not know, but I have a fancy there is a necessity 
for it. Life with people like you and me cannot roll on like 
a long, calm, quiet summer s day. We shall have the variety 
of the seasons, storm, calm, the bright promise of spring, the 
sick and melancholy glories of autumn. All experiences of 
life will come to us because w^e are capable of them all, we 
shall sound every string from the lowest note to the top of 
our compass. May we learn to touch those strings gently 
that produce discord ! 

Now, dearest, what are you doing? It is nearly ten o clock. 
Reading the newspapers, examining prisoners, and presently 
you will sink down onto the little bed and sleep into morn 
ing. You have not told me if it is very hot there yet. 

It is funny about the horse. Do you know, I told Frazer 
the creature was rather smooth-looking. I thought he was 
delicate in shape. Frazer still declares if the animal is not 
worthless he is no judge of a horse. We shall close the house 
I think, in about two weeks, unless you will come home for 
a little. I wish you could, but unless quite sick I fear you 
will not think of it. So Gen l. Grant takes a house in Burl 
ington. Do you think we shall take one in Richmond this 
Winter? I do not like you to be in a tent through the cold 



148 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

weather. I wonder, I wonder, what we shall do next. Life 
is a puzzle. Such an one as I shall not unravel tonight. So 
goodnight, dearest, it seems impossible you are so far off when 
I see you as clearly in your tent as though it were the next 
room. I shall walk right in and give you Goodnight, my 
dearest. 

Thursday Morn. The Rev. Doctor s dinner gives me some 
work, and clips me of time for you. He has not dined with 
us since the family first moved here, but once. I cannot fill 
the last page. And can only add as ever, 

Most affectionately yours, SARAH 

From D. W. C. Farrington 

NORFOLK, VA., Sept. 22nd, 1864 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Department Va. 
and N. C. 

GENERAL: I have to-day bought the first lot of cotton, 
amounting to about fourteen (14) thousand dollars, and have 
drawn twenty-five (25) thousand dollars from Lieut. Field. 
He informs me that he can let me have but ten (10) thousand 
dollars in addition to the sum above mentioned, and as I 
have been called upon to buy more to-morrow, I fear I shall 
not have sufficient money to carry me through the day. A 
gentleman (Mr. Booth) called upon me to-day and said he 
daily expected 100 bales of cotton, which he wished to sell 
me for cash upon its arrival. This lot, if it comes, will call 
for about sixty thousand dollars ($60,000), and I desire to 
know where I shall obtain more money? The Herald of the 
20th inst. reports cotton as "dull, heavy, and 1 @ %i lower;" 
now, is it not best to ship to New York for sale as soon as 
bought, and, if so, shall I ship by Bait boat and railroad, 
or wait for Government transports? To whom shall I consign? 

Mr. Hildreth recommended Messer Sawyer, Wallace and 
Co. as a first-class house, and said he thought that you were 
acquainted with them. If they are not auctioneers, however, 
would it not be better to consign directly to an auction house 
and save a broker s commission thereby? If sent by sea 
(other than the Bait boat) should I insure it? 

Should not your order, appointing a cotton Agent, be duly 
advertised as such, thus giving a public notice to holders of 
cotton? and does the fact that cotton, which is held here, was 
brought into the place previous to the date of your order, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 149 

change, or in any way ameliorate the clause which bids me 
"to report to the military authorities for seizure any cotton 
attempted to be sent away or stored by any person without 
first offering it to him for sale"? 

Is the holder obliged to pay the internal-revenue tax of two 
cents pr pound, before selling? I have the honor to be, 

\ Tf-^Tlf^TTI I 

Your very obedient Servant, D. W. C. FARRINGTON 
Order appointing D. W. C. Farrington Cotton Agent 

FORT MONROE, Sept. 19th, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

To prevent loss to the Treasury of the United States, and 
to enable those traders who are desirous to bring cotton 
within the lines of the army so to do, it is ordered that D. W. 
C. Farrington, Esq. be and he hereby is appointed Agent of 
the United States ad interim to buy all cotton brought within 
the lines of the army in the District of Virginia in accordance 
with the laws of Congress and the Treasury regulations. 

The agent will keep an exact record of each bale or package 
brought (marking the same distinctly U. S. A., with numbers 
in series from one upwards, in stencil not easily effaceable), 
the person of whom, time when, place, when bought, and 
price paid, with former marks and numbers of packages, so 
that every package bought by him can be traced, with an 
accurate account of all expenses incurred thereon. 

The agent will report to the military authorities for seizure 
and take any cotton attempted to be sent away or stored by 
any person without first offering it to him for sale. If for 
the purpose of reimbursing the military authorities the money 
furnished him for these purchases, it may be necessary to 
sell any of the cotton so bought, such sales shall be made for 
cash in U. S. Treasury notes at auction in the cities of New 
York or Boston, and the agent shall hold the proceeds, after 
deducting the necessary and reasonable expenses of sale and 
a commission not exceeding five per cent for the risk and 
trouble, salary, subject to the order of the Commanding 
General. 

No permit to bring in cotton shall be given except under 
the condition that it shall at once be offered to the agent for 
sale. And no permit shall be valid except under the personal 
signature of the General Commanding the district, or of the 
Commanding General. 



150 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. 24, 64 [Not in chronological order] 

Lieut. D. C. G. FIELD, A. D. C., FT. MONROE 

PLEASE say to me what balances are at Baltimore and New 
York Treasury to my credit. Borrow of Major Usher that 
amount within five thousand dollars. Turn it over to Mr. 
Farrington for his official purposes. Draw drafts for the 
Major and send them to me for signature. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, M aj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

TELEGRAM. Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. (teth), 1864 

[Not in chronological order] 

Mr. D. W. C. FARRINGTON, NORFOLK 

See Col. Webster. Ship by the first boat possible your 
cotton to New York. Go yourself there. Make a bargain 
with some auctioneer to sell the cotton at the cheapest possible 
rate. As there may be large amounts there should be large 
deductions from the usual commissions. The Government 
never insure. I have arranged with the financial agent for 
money. See him. The holder is obliged to pay the internal 
revenue tax. Add the usual freight and insurance to New 
York to the 25 cents pr pound. Otherwise you do not comply 
with the Treasury regulations, for it costs that difference to 
get it to New York. 

You may send by the Baltimore boat if you think best. 
Cotton not offered to you will be seized in order that the title 
of the owner as against the United States may be ascertained. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Head Quarters Army of the James, in the Field, Sept. 22, 1864 

MY DEAREST SARAH: Your note about the letter I wrote 
from the fort came last night, and was a source of pleasure 
and sorrow, because I was almost sorry I wrote the note at 
all after I sent it, and of pleasure that you did not wholly 
misunderstand it. The whole is this in a word. I am sensi 
tive to certain things beyond conception, and you have touched 
me to the quick in one of them, but let it pass. I have no 
bitterness of feeling on the subject. 

All remains here as usual. Shaffer has gone. Weitzel 
has come. I am, I believe, entirely recovered. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 151 

My habit of lying in bed and writing in the morning curtails 
my letters, as the mail is usually waiting for me, as it is now. 

So goodby, dearest, I can alter that objectionable phrase 
in the letter of last spring. You have an "unreasonable 
share" of my love. 

Yours truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gerfl. Army 

From Thaddeus Stevens to General Butler 

LANCASTER, Sept. 22nd, 1864 

Sm: We are to have a political meeting here on the 5th 
Oct. which we expect will be large. Our people have great 
admiration for you. I am directed by the committee to 
solicit your attendance to address them. If you would spare 
a few days from your arduous duties, I think you would do 
great good. We hope to succeed, but need all the help we 
can get if you leave Baltimore in the mornng you can be 
here either by the N. Central R. R. or by Phil, by J past 2 

o clock same dav. c 

THADDEUS STEVENS 

From General Butler 

CIPHER. Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. 23rrf, 1864, 11 A.M. 

Surgeon General BARNES, WASHINGTON 

THE "Atlantic" and "Baltic" steamers being sea-going 
steamers, are needed for the public service between now and 
the 10th of October, which service is approved by the Lieut. 
General. I am unwilling to take the boats without con 
sulting your Department. Please have them temporarily 
turned over to my Quarter Master. E ^ R 



From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Sept. 23rd, 1864 

MY OWN DEAREST WIFE: Worse and worse. Here the 
mail messenger has caught me in bed, as I am well and was 
up late last night. It does not so much matter, but you see 
the reason of my shortness of epistle. 

Not a word more of news to communicate. 

I sent you your two letters received last night, but why 
write so sadly as the 18th one? God bless you, dearest. 
With much love, I am, BENJ. 



152 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Grant to General Butler 

DEEP BOTTOM, Sept. 23, 1864, 1.35 P.M. 

IF Gen. Birney has not been successful in carrying the 
works in his front, I think it will be advisable to move out 
to the Central Road. From the enclosed despatch you will 
see that all must be done today that can be done towards 

Eichmond U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., in the Field, Sept. 24, 64 

Major Gen. BIRNEY, Comd g. 10th Army Corps 

PLEASE inform me upon what authority prisoners of war 
and deserters from the enemy sent to you are forwarded 
other than to the Pro. Mar. at these Hd. Qrs. as I understand 
they are. 

In future will you see that all such persons are forwarded 
at once to these Hd. Qrs. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 9 l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. 2Uh, 1864, 1 P.M. 

Maj. Genl. BIRNEY, Comd g. IQth A. C. 

THE d Corps will relieve you tonight. You will mass 
your corps in the rear of its present position when relieved, 
out of sight of the enemy. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler to Captain Thornton, A. D. C. 9 Norfolk, Va. 

Head Quarters Department Virginia and North Carolina, 
in the Field, Sept. 24th, 1864 

CAPT: Having received authority from the Sec. of War to 
recruit a regiment of volunteer infantry at Point Lookout, 
you are detailed and appointed recruiting officer for that 
purpose, and you will take with you two officers as assistants. 
This regiment is to be recruited for one, two, or three years 
as the men may elect. The recruitment, organization, and 
muster to conform to existing regulations. Officers will be 
appointed in accordance with circular 62, from the Adjutant 
General s office. Arms and supplies will be furnished on 
requisitions through these Head Quarters. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 153 

You will report weekly to these Head Quarters your success 
in recruiting. The prisoners may be informed of the fact 
that their place of service will be in the North West. You 
will find at Point Lookout three books with questions to be 
propounded to the prisoners. 

By application to the Comd g. General, I doubt not they 
will be turned over to you. At any rate, the questions con 
tained in those books will be put to each recruit. You will 
apply to the Comdg. General to assign you a place to encamp 
your recruits, and apply to these Head Quarters from time 
to time for assignment of officers to aid you. Your recom 
mendations for officers will meet prompt attention, but in 
each case you must assure yourself that the officer is a man of 
strictly temperate habits. I have the honor to be, very 
respectfully, 

Your Obdt. Servant, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

September 21th, 1864 

MY DEAREST WIFE: No letter last night. I was indeed 
disappointed. I have received no letters from you later than 
the 19th, which I will try to enclose, as I promised to do 
yesterday, but failed in the hurry to reach mail. 

All quiet here yet. Sheridan has won a second great victory 
over Early, for which we are all rejoicing. 

You will see rumors in the papers of my removal, but I do 
not think there is any foundation for them. Grant gives me 
his unabated confidence. 

I think the question of the election is fully settled, nor do 
I believe this war will last very long. But never mind the 
w r ar how are you? How are the children? What are you 
all doing when are you coming home, i.e., down here in the 
mill? 

So you are getting fat on cream and sweet apples how 
soft and child-like you will be, to be sure! 

You had better sell the grey horses. I have seen Gilman. 
They will eat their heads off twice over. Have we two cows? 
If so, you had better sell them, and sell the hay. 

But the time calls mail, and so goodby, with a kiss, my love. 

BENJ. 



154 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Army of the James, in the Field, Sept. 24, 1864 

Hon. WILLIAM A. DARLING, Chairman of Committee 
on Invitation 

SIR: I am in receipt of your invitation to be present and 
address a Ratification of the nominations of Lincoln and 
Johnson to be held at the Cooper Institute in the city of 
New York, Tuesday, the 27th day of Sept. instant. 

It will not be possible for me to be present on that occasion. 
Before many days I propose, with my fellow-soldiers and as 
many of the citizens as choose to meet us, to hold a ratification 
meeting of that nomination much further south than New 
York, and the necessary preparations for that assemblage 
keep me here. y^ Respectfully Yo urs, BENJ. F. BUTLER 



From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. 25th, 1864, 11 A.M. 

COL. HOFFMAN, Commissary Gen l. Prisoners, 

WASHINGTON, D. C. 

MAJOR MULFORD leaves City Point this morning with six 
hundred (600) officers and soldiers, mostly disabled except in 
case of special exchange. There are at least six hundred 
(600) more at & about Richmond for another load. Please 
get ready six hundred (600) of disabled confederates, either at 
Point Lookout or Fort Delaware, preferably the latter, for 
return trip. Nearly thirty (30) died out of five hundred (500) 
in the last load. Instruct the surgeons to send (no) more 
who are in that condition. The occurrence does not speak 
well either for the Government or its officials. The rebel 
Commissioner of Exchange agrees to deliver us at Fort Pulaski 
all the sick in Georgia by the 10th of next month, to the 
number of at least five thousand (5000). I am preparing 
transportation for five thousand (5000) disabled Confederates 
to be carried down by the same transports that bring ours up. 
Please assemble them from the various camps and hospitals to 
points where they can be reached by the boats, and notify me. 

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



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 155 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. 15th, 1864, 8.30 P.M. 

Col. HOFFMAN, Commissary Prisoners, WASHINGTON, D. C. 

I HAVE made arrangements with Mr. Ould to give me at 
least five thousand (5000) of our sick men in Georgia and 
South Carolina, and take what equivalent we may have. 
I have offered to take them at Fort Pulaski as an act of 
humanity, because I think that railroading through the Con 
federacy, with such accommodations as they would get, 
would bring many of them to their death. He will receive 
on the Mississippi or its tributaries at such points as may be 
agreed upon all the sick they may have at the western camps, 
and will be glad to do it for the same reason. 

After the boat-load up the river, we may as well send our 
balance down with the same transportation to Fort Pulaski. 

Please advise me, looking on the matter in the light of 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 
From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Army of the James, in the Field, Sept. 25th, 1864 

Capt. J. H. LTPSHUR, Commanding Frigate "Minnesota." 

CAPTAIN: In the month of April last your official conduct 
was investigated upon my complaint, and at the time, upon the 
fullest belief (in) the grounds of the complaint, which I most 
earnestly enforced as I am accustomed to do anything I deem 
to be my duty. 

Of that complaint your peers in the Court of Inquiry ac 
quitted you, and that being a sufficient official justification, 
perhaps this note may be unnecessary to you, but certainly 
not to me. From disclosures in other investigations as to the 
truthfulness and reliability of the witnesses upon whose 
testimony my action was based, and especially the subsequent 
conduct of the principal one, I am fully convinced that being 
deceived and misled by false information I have done you 
much wrong, both in my own opinion and in my official action 
toward you. Therefore this note is necessary for me to 
repair, as far as I may, the injustice, and to say that I am 
fully satisfied that you were in no way concerned in giving 
any information whatever upon the matter which formed the 
subject of my complaint, and that my information was wholly 
unfounded in fact. With the hope that if any one has con- 



156 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

ceived any opinion to the prejudice of your personal character 
as a gentleman or your professional character as an officer 
from any act or word of mine, that such opinion may be at 
once obliterated, and with the assurance that I shall leave no 
occasion unimproved in which to correct the consequences of 
my misapprehensions in others, as they have been most fully 
corrected in my own mind, I beg leave to subscribe myself, 
Most Truly Your friend, BENJ. F. BUTLER, 

Major General Commanding, U. S. Vols. 

From Lieutenant J. H. Upshur to General Butler 

At Sea, November 1st, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

GENERAL: My silence since the receipt of your letter to 
me bearing date Sept. 25th, ultimo, may not, I trust, be 
attributed to a want of appreciation of the very frank and 
friendly tone of that communication. 

Altho , at the time much aggrieved by your course toward 
me, I cannot fail to recognize the very generous, manly, and 
full amends you have been pleased to make for your action, 
based at the time on the report of parties, since proven to 
have been false in their statements. 

I have placed on file at the Navy Department a copy of 
your 25 Sept. letter, for which please accept my thanks, and 
permit me to subscribe myself, with high consideration, most 
sincerely and truly, 

Your Obdt. Servt., J. H. UPSHUR, Li. Comr. U. S. N. 

From D. Heaton to General Butler 

PRIVATE. Treasury Department, Sixth Special Agency, BEAUFORT, N. C., 

Sept. 25th, 1864 

MY DEAR SIR: Learning that Geo. H. Hart, Esq., the able 
correspondent of the New York Herald, who was incarcerated 
in one of the Richmond prisons & whom I have heard speak 
of you in the kindest terms for the politeness shown him, 
proposes ere long to visit your Head Quarters, I have con 
cluded to forward by him a brief but frank expression of 
sentiment in relation to the real wants & necessities of the 
people within this military district. 

The farthest thing from my thoughts is to embarrass or 
perplex you in any way; I know the great responsibility now 
resting upon you, & how deeply you are absorbed in the dis 
charge of your onerous duties. Rather than give you the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 157 

slightest unnecessary trouble I would gladly, in every way in 
my power, aid you in the accomplishment of the utter defeat of 
our implacable enemies, & the complete triumph of our cause. 

But without elaboration or unnecessary detail permit me to 
say that I am most thoroughly convinced that the allowance 
of supplies to the amount only of $100,000 per month is not 
enough for this military district. 

The agreement you signed for this amount, however, is 
now being most faithfully carried out, & will be until you can 
consent to change the same. I can assure you, General, that 
in view, however, of the great scarcity of provisions & neces 
saries now prevailing in almost every locality within our 
lines, it is a most difficult & onerous task to divide & apportion 
the amount allowed so as to do justice to all, & afford relief 
as far as it can be done. The great difficulty is that but a very 
limited amount is produced, in the line of necessaries for living, 
in this part of the state, & hence the absolute necessity for im 
portations. 

In connection with this, there is the fact that our population 
is constantly on the increase. Emigration is tending eastward 
instead of westward in this state. 

In relation to these matters, so vitally important to us 
here, Mr. Hart can give you his views, based upon actual 
observation for six months. 

If I appear to attach more than usual importance to this 
subject, you must attribute it to the constant demands for 
relief coining from so many quarters, & from my daily inter 
course with so many of the residents, white & black. I still 
believe $300,000 per month to be necessary, but if you cannot 
consent to change the agreement to this, I trust you will alter 
it so as to allow $200,000. 

That the most untiring efforts will be made to prevent the 
enemy from being benefitted by this, you may rest assured. 
With the sincere hope that this monstrous rebellion may be 
very soon crushed to death, I am, with great respect, 

Truly yours, D. HEATON 

From General Butler to Colonel Shaffer 

Head Quarters Army of the James, in the Field, Sept. 25, 1864 

MY DEAR SHAFFER: As now the long and most pleasant 
personal relations in the camp and field are severed, probably 
never to be renewed under their former conditions, I will not 



158 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

refrain from saying to you with my pen what we were each 
too much moved when we parted, either to speak or to hear. 
I have to thank you in behalf of the country with earnest 
gratitude for the unwearied active vigilance with which you 
have always done your duty as an officer in every position, 
with the single purpose of her services and her interests. 
True patriotism is shown by acts and thoughtful devotion to 
public interests. 

Nothing but shattered health, against the weakness of 
which you have been struggling during the whole campaign, 
has taken you unwillingly from the army, and not then until 
long after every friend thought it a duty to yourself that you 
should go. And I hope and reverently pray the Disposer of 
all events that in His wisdom you may be restored. 

But it is not the performance of your public duties that I 
have desired to speak of, that, your military record and the 
opinion of all your associates upon the Staff will testify. 

There is a warmer and nearer tie, and which has been your 
guide in your official intercourse, which fills my heart and 
makes the pen tame in expression. The truest and most 
unselfish personal friendship, your country first, myself next, 
yourself last was the chart of duty to you. That your devo 
tion to duty and friendship is most gratefully appreciated by 
me, and your sentiments of personal regard fully reciprocated 
why need I write? That we shall be divided except by 
space is impossible, and I shall always be happy to subscribe 

Most truly your Friend, BENJ. F. BUTLER 
From Colonel J. W. Shaffer 

Department of Virginia and North Carolina, FORTRESS MONROE, VIRGINIA, 

Sept. 29th, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, VIRGINIA 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I received your more than kind letter, 
and all I can say to you in reply is that God knows that nothing 
but a stern sense of duty to myself and family made me /dis 
connect myself from you before your duties in camp were 
ended. The struggle was a hard one, but I felt it must be 
done. I never again expect to be associated with another 
for whom I will feel that strong attachment that I have and 
will continue to ever have for you. Wherever I may be, I 
will carry with me both love and respect for you, and it will 
be my greatest ambition to watch your interests, and in 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 159 

doing this will (as heretofore) take the liberty to write you 
at all times, freely and fully, just what I think, knowing that 
you will understand my motives. And should you require 
my services to go anywhere or do anything, let me know, and 
I will promptly do what you require. Don t hesitate a mo 
ment to call when you think I can serve you. 

I cannot express to you my feelings for your many kind 
nesses to me. Yet, believe me, I fully appreciate them. 
Your letter I will keep while I live, and leave it as a rich 
legacy to my children when I die. I value it more than 
wealth or position. 

Now, General, may a kind Providence watch over and 
protect you and yours, is the earnest prayer of your friend, 

J. W. SHAFFER 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., in the Field, Sept. 25, 64 

Col. COMSTOCK, at Gen. GRANT S Hd. Qrs. 
I WILL be over as soon as I can get a tug. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From Colonel J. W. Shaffer to General Butler 

FORT MONROE, Sunday, Sept. 25th, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: I returned this morning from Washington. 
I called on Mr. Stanton and stated the case in regard to 
Gibbons. He told me that he was fully aware of it, and that 
he heard of it every few days, but says General Grant thinks 
him a good soldier, and he (Stanton) did not like to remove 
an officer without Grant s consent, which he hoped to get. 

Stanton said that Gibbons was not the only man, but that 
others who had much greater commands were just as bad, 
intimating that Meade was no better, which I readily ad 
mitted. Stanton was very pleasant and enquired kindly 
about you. I find there is great fear that the Potomac Army 
may vote wrong, but there is no danger of the Army of the 
James. 

I will here say that I think you had better quietly see to it 
that the right influences are exercised. This you do by 
quietly talking to Brigadier and Division Commanders. 
I saw General Martindale in Washington; he spoke kindly 
of you and wondered why you had not answered his letter. 

The resignation of Blair created very little excitement, - 



160 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

every body appears to think that more changes will follow. 
It is well understood in Washington that Mr. Lincoln has 
agreed to make a new Cabinet next term. I expect to get 
away Thursday, and I will go by Philadelphia and see Cameron, 
as he is stopping there, and arrange the letter. 

Please send it so I get it Wednesday. I will write you a 
long letter before I leave. I am fearful I will not feel much 
like doing anything when I get home, as I find I have more or 
less fever every day, and a physician in Washington told me 
that it would take a couple of months to get the cussed stuff 
out of me, but if I get along reasonably well, I will visit you 

Your true Friend, J. W. SHAFFER 
Don t fail to send letters to Cameron, Wednesday. J. W. S. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., in the Field, Sept. 13, 64 
[Not in chronological order] 

Col. SERRELL, 57 West Washington Place, NEW YORK 

FIND Chaplain Hudson of your regiment, who has been 
ordered to report to his regiment and has failed to obey this 
order. Take his parole in writing, forthwith to appear at 
these Hd. Qrs. If he fails to give his parole, have him sent 
here to me under guard. 

Your special attention is called to the execution of this 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 
From Chaplain Henry N. Hudson 

Head Quarters Dept. Va. & N. C., in the Field, Sept. 26, 1864 

To Maj. Gen. BUTLER, Commanding the Department 

GENERAL: In pursuance of what seems to me judicious 
advice, I crave permission to lay before you as full and clear a 
statement as I can make of the facts and circumstances bearing 
upon the points that came up in the interview which I had the 
honour of holding with you on Monday, the 19th inst. 

I understood from you that there were two main points 
charged upon me as matters of grave offence against military 
order and duty: 

First, the having written an article which appeared in the 
New York Evening Post of May 24, 1864; the said article 
reflecting injuriously on the Commanding General. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 161 

Second, non-obedience to an order of the Commanding 
General, dated July 3, 1864, and received by me in New 
York on, as nearly as I can remember, the 12th or 14th of the 
same month. 

In reference to the first of these points, I beg leave to state : 
I was mustered into the United States service as Chaplain 
of the First New York Volunteer Engineers on the 14th of 
February, 1862, and very soon after proceeded to the seat of 
war in the Department of the South. Some time before 
leaving, I entered into an engagement with Parke Godwin, 
Esq., of the Evening Post, to write for that paper. I was 
under the command of Generals Hunter, Mitchel, and Gill- 
more, in succession, and in case of each of these I took an 
early opportunity to inform the commanding general of that 
engagement; at the same time telling him that if, in pursu 
ance thereof, I could do anything to serve him, or the cause 
in his hands, I wished to do so; and that if he had or should 
have any thoughts or facts which he would like to have used 
in that way, I would do the best I could to dress the matter 
into readable shape. I had, or understood myself to have, 
their allowance for writing in pursuance of such engagement, 
and was admitted to occasional interviews with each of them 
in turn, or with their official representatives, with reference to 
that purpose. After coming into this Department with the 
Tenth Army Corps, in May last, I was several times on the 
point of calling on the General Commanding, to say to him 
the same as I had said to the generals named above; and 
once started to do so, but, my health being quite feeble, I 
found the walk too hard for me, and so returned to my quar 
ters. My articles written for publication in the Evening Post 
were signed "Loyalty," and published with that signature. 
Besides those articles, I often wrote private letters to Mr. 
Godwin, which were not meant to be published, and were 
not published. The article which appeared in the Evening 
Post of May 24 was a private letter to Mr. Godwin, signed 
as such with my own name; it was written and sent without 
any thought or purpose of its being published, and I was 
surprised on learning that such use had been made of it. The 
contents of the letter were made up, with full purpose of accu 
racy, from statements and information given me by officers of 
my own regiment; no other person, as I remember, having 
spoken with me on the subject till after the letter was written 
and mailed. I am pretty confident that Gen. Gillmore knew 

VOL, V II 



162 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

nothing of the letter before it was mailed; very certain that 
if he knew anything he did not learn it from me. Whether 
I spoke with any others about the letter before sending it off, 
I do not now remember. 

In connection with this matter I beg leave to state further: 
That on Saturday, May 28, I had a brief interview with Gen. 
Gillmore, when he told me that he had some work for me to 
do in New York; which work was to superintend the printing 
of certain public documents that were to be published by 
Mr. Van Nostrand. That late in the evening of the same 
day I received a telegram from Major Stackpole, informing 
me that my son William was very dangerously ill. That on 
my showing this telegram to Gen. Gillmore the next morning, 
he forthwith had an order made out and handed me, whereby 
I was to "proceed without delay to New York, to transact 
the business directed by the Commanding General." (I 
cannot now be positive as to the exact wording of the order, 
for, General, it was taken from me and retained by you at our 
interview last Monday.) That this order was accompanied 
by another permitting me to go to Boston on "private busi 
ness," my family being then at Waltham, some eight miles 
from that city. That the next morning, May 30, I left Ber 
muda Hundred, hastened on as fast as I could, reached Boston 
on the morning of June 3, and there learned that my son had 
died the night before. That after staying at Waltham some 
thing over a week, I went with the surviving members of my 
family to Northampton, Mass., to the residence of my father- 
in-law, Mr. Henry Bright, where I remained till about the 
first of July. 

When General Gillmore gave me the order aforesaid, he 
told me he would have the particular instructions as to what 
I was to do, and how to do it, written out and sent to Mr. Van 
Nostrand for me. Near the middle of June I wrote from 
Northampton to Mr. Van Nostrand, to know whether any 
instructions had come from Gen. Gillmore for me; to which 
he replied promptly that none such had come, and that if 
any should come he would let me know it at once. Thus the 
matter stood till about the first of July, when, as Gen. Gill- 
more had in the meantime been relieved of his command, so 
that I was no longer subject to his order, and as I was a good 
deal perplexed as to my duty, I went to New York, hoping 
to learn there what I ought to do; and there I remained till 
the receipt of Gen. Butler s order of July 3, requiring me to 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 163 

report to my regiment. When Gen. Gillmore ordered me to 
New York on special duty, I received the order, and acted 
upon it, in perfect good faith, honestly believing that he had 
some real and legitimate work for me to do there; and it was 
in this belief that I wrote to Mr. Van Nostrand as stated 
above. If, as you, my General, have supposed, the order in 
question was a mere pretence on Gen. Gillmore s part to 
cover some other purpose, he did not tell me so, and I had no 
knowledge nor even suspicion of it. On the contrary, I truly 
and honestly expected the promised instructions from Gen. 
Gillmore, and I did not know, and had no means of knowing, 
why they did not come. If, moreover, Gen. Gillmore s order 
to me was illegal, I was utterly ignorant of the fact, no thought 
or suspicion of the sort having once touched my mind till I 
learned, since my arrival here, that such was your judgment 
respecting it. And if such ignorance be not a sufficient excuse, 
I trust it will be charitably allowed as some extenuation of 
my fault, inasmuch as I was not bred either to the legal or 
the military profession, and on entering the service had no 
time for preparation in such learning; while, as Gen. Gillmore 
was then my corps commander, I honestly thought myself 
bound to obey his order, without raising any question whether 
it was right or wrong. 

In regard to the second of the points in question, I beg 
leave to state: 

That on receiving your order of July 3 to report to my 
regiment, I went directly to our Colonel, who was then in 
New York, to get advices as to the whereabouts of the regi 
ment; and his reply was to the effect that he hardly knew 
how to direct me, the regiment having been so divided and 
scattered that he really could not tell where the regimental 
headquarters were. This was in the evening; and the next 
morning I received a letter from Northampton, informing me 
that my wife was a good deal worse (for she had been quite 
ill ever since the death of my son); whereupon I went to the 
Colonel again to confer with him about going back to my 
family, and he told me that for himself he had no objections 
to my going, though he of course could not give me permission 
to do so, as that would be to overrule Gen. Butler s order. 
That I was in much perplexity as to what I ought to do, and 
ventured, improperly as I am now convinced, to return to 
Northampton, where, a few days after, I was myself so pros 
trated with illness as to be unable to travel. That for these 



164 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

causes I lingered on from day to day, still hoping that in the 
course of a few days both Mrs. Hudson and myself would so 
far recover as to allow of my departure for the seat of war; 
until at last I became discouraged, and resolved to offer my 
resignation. Accordingly, near the close of August, I came 
on to New York, and there tendered my resignation, dated, 
I think, Sept. 1, to Colonel Serrell, assigning as my main 
reason therefor "continued and obstinate ill-health, such as 
to render me unfit for the service." The Colonel told me he 
would forward it to the Commanding General, and that he 
thought it would not be necessary for me to come on to the 
seat of war till I should hear further from General Butler. 
Thereupon I rested in New York till the receipt of your order 
dated Sept. 13, as telegraphed to Col. Serrell, when I made 
all the haste I could to get forward, and reported at your 
Headquarters on the 19th inst. That ever since the death of 
my son as aforesaid, his mother, broken down with grief and 
care, has been sick, so much so that at one time she was hardly 
expected to live; and that, though somewhat better, she was 
still far from well when I last heard from her. That, not 
withstanding this, and notwithstanding my own ill-health, 
I do now sincerely regret my act of non-obedience to your 
order of July 3; that in this act I was clearly wrong; that I 
ought to have hastened forward at once to do as required; 
and that for not having done so I heartily crave your pardon, 
and submit myself to such inflictions as may be judged needful 
for the good of the service; at the same time assuring you, 
that the act did not proceed from anything like contempt of 
your authority. 

This, I believe, is all that need be said in reference to the 
two points specified above. But I beg leave to add a few 
words touching another matter that was referred to during our 
interview of last Monday. 

Among the faults then charged upon me was mentioned 
that of taking, or intending to take, money from the Govern 
ment without any duty done. 

On this point, I crave your allowance to plead, in the first 
place, that till the receipt of your order of July 3 I was honestly 
proceeding in obedience to Gen. Gillmore s order of May 29. 
I have not drawn, nor attempted to draw, any pay for any 
of the time that has elapsed since the issuing of your order 
remanding me to my regiment. On the contrary, I have all 
along anticipated a probable forfeiture of my pay for the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 165 

time in question. I would say, by all means let the loss fall on 
me rather than on the Government; for I want no money 
from dear old Uncle Sam that I have not fairly earned. 

In the second place, I hope it will not seem improper for 
me to urge that if I have been in the way to receive public 
money without having worked for it, I have also done a good 
deal of work without getting any pay for it. 

Now, I entered on duty as Chaplain of the regiment, in New 
York, on the 6th of November, 1861, and continued on duty in 
New York and on Staten Island, from that time till the 14th 
of February, 1862, before I could get mustered into the United 
States service; the second battalion of the regiment being, 
meanwhile, in process of formation. The officers then and 
there in command assured me that I would be paid for the 
time thus spent on duty, and I rested in that assurance. I 
have not, I never had, any doubt that they honestly believed 
what they told me on that subject. But I have never re 
ceived a cent of pay for my work during all that time; and 
I have but lately ascertained that there is no chance of my 
getting any. Of course I expected to be paid; for, General, 
I am a poor man, with a family to support, and am some 
times not a little troubled to keep the wolf from my doors; 
so that I cannot afford to work without hope of remuneration, 
neither would it be right for me to do so. 

During the time in question I did some very hard and 
important work, certainly as much so as any that I have ever 
done in the service. Of this I beg leave to mention only two 
particulars. 

Early in December, I think it was, the weather became very 
cold, and the men were in barracks on Staten Island without 
any fire-apparatus whatsoever. Of course they were suffering 
greatly; and an earnest appeal was made to me to procure 
them some relief. I entered into the cause at once, and with all 
my might; tried every way I could think of to realize some 
public provision, but in vain; and, after working hard for 
several days, at last succeeded, partly by begging, partly by 
purchasing with my own money, in procuring six good stoves, 
a supply of pipe, and a load of coal, and thus got the men 
w T armed. The money thus spent w T as afterwards refunded to 
me by one of our churches in New York, St. Clement s. 

Some time after this, it was represented to me that our men, 
especially those of the first battalion, who had already gone 
to the seat of war, were in great need of rubber blankets, and 



166 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

suffering dreadfully from want of them; and I was again 
appealed to, to try what could be done for their relief. I 
confess the thing seemed well-nigh hopeless, for neither the 
United States nor the State of New York was then furnishing 
the troops with that article. But I did not rest till the thing 
was done. After many days of very hard work, I engaged 
some dealers to entrust me with a supply of the blankets on 
my written obligation to pay for them as soon as the men 
should get their pay from the Government. So I gave my 
written obligation in the sum of $756.25 to the "Rubber 
Clothing Company," then doing business at 201 Broadway, 
New York; and so the men were supplied, the blankets being 
put to them for precisely what they were put to me. Indeed, 
my General, it was a hard job; and I did it purely out of 
kindness to the men, and concern for the good of the service. 
But, owing to some misunderstanding, it was a long time 
before the men were paid. When at length they were paid, 
the regiment was so scattered that I could not get at them. 
Meanwhile, also, some had died, and a good many had become 
disabled, and got discharged, and thus gone beyond my 
reach. For nearly two years I used my best diligence in 
collecting the money; and still, in spite of all I could do, 
I am more than $150.00 out of pocket on that score. 

I do not mention this, my General, in the way of complaint. 
The act was truly disinterested on my part, and therefore has 
left me nothing to regret. Moreover, it was done for a cause 
that is inexpressibly dear to me, as I am sure it is to you. 
As for the money, both that which I have neither worked for, 
nor received, and that which I have worked hard for, and not 
received, and also that which I have spent out of my own 
narrow resources, let it all go from me, if so it be judged right; 
but I must be excused for thinking that here was a piece of 
service which money cannot exactly reward. 

In conclusion, permit me to add that for more than a year 
past I have been ill, a good deal of the time seriously ill, from 
the effects of a disease contracted in the service; that, besides 
being rather old for such labours (I am fifty-one,) I had been, 
for some twenty-five years before the war began, a close and 
hard student, and thus grown into habits which, as it has since 
proved, though I did not think so on entering the army, 
rendered me hardly fit for the duties of a military life in the 
field ; that I undertook the office of chaplain because I thought 
that all who could do so were under a solemn obligation to 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 167 

take hold and help the Nation through this mighty struggle; 
that I think I have now seen my share of the service, and 
fairly earned the privilege of being allowed to retire; and 
that I do earnestly hope you will soon find it practicable to 
accept my resignation, and grant me a discharge; or, if this 
may not be, that you will at least let me go, under arrest if it 
must be so, among the dear good fellows of my own regiment, 
with whom I have spent nearly three years in the service of 
my country. 

Most respectfully yours, &c., HENRY N. HUDSON, 

Chaplain 1st N. Y. Vol. Eng. 

From J. K. Herbert to General Butler 

CONFIDENTIAL. WASHINGTON, D. C., Sept. 26, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: The chief of the Ordnance bureau 
here has ordered a lot of the Amsterdam shells from Phil, to 
be sent to Capt. Edson, ord. off. at Fortress Monroe, where 
they will of course be subject to your requisition. They 
leave Phil, tomorrow, I am informed. 

Everybody here feels good over the removal of Blair. Winter 
Davis thought Blair had app d his own successor, but Chandler, 
Edmunds & Gurowski all together agreed that he, (D.), was 
mistaken. 

Edmunds told me there would be no immediate effort to 
get rid of Welles that he would probably leave before 
election, but not just now. 

Winter Davis is going to make a great speech at Elkton, 
Md. tomorrow, if he can get his disgust off sufficiently. I 
spent three hours with him at his house yesterday. He says 
sometimes he feels so disgusted that he cannot talk, and 
therefore has not said positively that he will speak, yet they 
expect he will & so do I. 

I have a private letter from Sen. Wade in which he says: 

"I cannot therefore at present set any time when we shall 
be able to enter upon the investigation (at N. O.). Before 
we do, however, I will give you and Gen. Butler notice, and 
you shall be consulted upon the subject." He is bitter on 
the "flunkies" as he calls them, who failed him & Davis. 

Davis says Lincoln will have a happy time if he is in the 
House of Reps. He thinks Seward s Auburn speech an 
awful Doc., & is preparing to attack it in the House. 

Lincoln sent for Chase and took him out to the Soldiers 



168 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Home, where a long, private interview took place of which 
nobody knows anything. But Chase is going to Ohio to make 
speeches. Gurowski says the Chf. Justiceship is still his 
contract. 

I should say that Davis told me Lincoln had begged Chase s 
pardon most humbly for his treatment, &c. 

Chandler had a "celebration" over his success, for it is 
really his own triumph that Blair is removed at this time. 
When he told Stanton that he had had a good drunk on the 
head of it, he (S.) said he would like to have known when & 
where, that he might have had a hand in it &c. 

Chandler was very "happy" when he left, very com- 
plimentary to everybody. Ymm j HERBERT 



From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

In the Field, Sept. 26, 1864 

MY DEAR SALLIE: Two days, Saturday and Sunday, and 
no letter from you. I did not know how much I counted on 
them till I missed them. It seems to me as if the mail hadn t 
come. 

We are about to make a move, say the last of this week, 
which will be a very conclusive one if successful. It will be 
under my command. I must not write more about it as it 
is "contraband." Seward and Washburn are down here. I 
went to Grant s yesterday by his order, and they had just 
arrived when I got there. They went over to the Army of 
the Potomac, and will visit me today when I am to have 
dinner for them. 

I do not know what he wants, but will try and find out, 
but shall let him open himself if he will. Stanton is his man 
very evidently. Blair you will see has resigned. It is a 
curious correspondence, and I do not exactly understand it. 
Perhaps I shall get it from Seward today. 

You see there is not one word about you in all this. I do 
not blame you for thinking that I forget you. I sat down to 
write a note to you and inquire what you are doing and saying, 
and what the children are doing and saying, and all about 
home, which is very dear to me (you needn t smile and say 
"you don t show it"), for it is, and yet I write nothing about 
my home or about you. What have you been doing? How 
is Harriet? What is that saucy Blanche about? Why does 
she not write the "Great old thing!" as she would say. Write 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 169 

your own doings and feelings, and a little more regularly if 
you please. 

You had better sell all the stock except Julia, Jr., and the 
old wall-eyed horse! which Frazer must exercise every day, 
bye the bye. Tell Burbank and Chase to make me a thick 
frock coat, military pattern, of good strong cloth with alpaca 
or some shiny lining not silk, and put two stars on each 
shoulder. I am in absolute rags. Send down by Adams 
Express at once. Mail ready, so no more at present; but I 
send you a picture of the "Greyhound" and the Pontoon 
Bridge as she lies at her wharf near my headquarters in the 
Appomattox. 

We had a frost last night, and it is so cold this morning I 
can scarce hold pen. 

Good morning, dearest, BENJ. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. IQth, 1864, 6.25 P.M. 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War, 

WASHINGTON, D. C. 

FIVE (5) companies of the 45th U. S. Colored Troops have 
been forwarded, and are assigned by me to the 10th Corps. 
Five (5) more companies are in Washington. It is a pity 
that the regt. should not be together. Please order the 
five (5) companies to join their regiments. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. 26^, 1864, 6.55 P.M. 

Brig. Genl. HOLT, Judge Advocate General, WASHINGTON, D. C. 

I WAS not aware that such an order was issued by the Presi 
dent. I knew in the early part of the Spring that he issued 
an order that no person sentenced to death in the Department 
should be executed. I have executed no person that was 
sentenced to death when I received that order, and I supposed 
it was meant to cover a large number of old cases about which 
I had made representations. 

I was led to that construction of the order because the law 
of Congress, altering the law which required the revision of 
the President in cases of capital sentences, put that revision 
in the hands of Departmental Commanders, subject of course 
to the pardoning power of the President, which as a rule is 



170 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

not exercised before conviction. I supposed that the Presi 
dent would not claim to revise the proceedings when the 
law had taken it from him and placed the power in another - 
therefore I looked upon the order as simply an exercise of the 
pardoning power, which it was thus intended to apply to 
the case. 

If I am wrong in my construction, I should be very glad 
to be corrected, for of course there is no more responsible, no 
more painful, and yet no more necessary duty to be done by 
the commander of an army, but as I will not shrink from its 
exercise when necessary, I should be happy to be relieved 
from the dread responsibility. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. Virginia & North Carolina, Army of the James, 

in the Field, Sept. 26th, 1864 

MY DEAREST WIFE: Two of your letters came tonight, 
although one is missing yet. As I expect to be lazy tomorrow 
morning, I write tonight. 

You say you can see me in my tent. I wish you could 
indeed, but as to asking me if it is hot - - Why we had a frost 
last night, and I slept cold under two blankets. Are you 
jolly? I doubt you only write jolly to please me, but I hope 
you are jolly, and I trust you have no reason to be otherwise, 
and as far as in me lies there shall be no reason. So be as 
jolly as you can be. 

You will ask what did Seward say, nothing. I spent 
two hours with him in very friendly chat, and he said nothing 
to the purpose only that Stan ton would not be removed. 
This was said incidentally as a matter of conversation. 

Fisher has gone home, I believe and I suppose will return 
with you and the children. Where we shall be or what is 
the future for us God only knows. It is all a blank, and I 
think of not much consequence. There is not much worth 
living for to a man of forty-five. We have seen it all. How 
tame is life now in comparison with what it was! All s known. 
Why drag out a few more years to reiterate the same routine? 
Alas! for the enthusiasm of youth! Not that I am sad or 
hypochondriac, but solely that it does not seem of consequence 
as to what becomes of the future. 

You can sell the colt unless Pearson will take her home and 
keep her for her work. The other horse Gilman s father will 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 171 

come down for and take home with him. Let him have the 
"old wall eye." Bye the bye, did I not leave on my table in 
the library two papers, one the appointment of Weitzel as 
Maj. Gen l., and the other the appointment of Maj. Gen. 
Terry? If so, look them up and send them by mail to me. 

Of course, you will arrange all the matters according to 
your judgment, and I shall be more than satisfied. Tell 
Frazer to look out for the pear trees see that they are dug 
around this fall and manured, the raspberries and strawberries 
protected. Also let him look to the lawn and rake in a little 
grass seed where there are bare spots. Send to Boston and 
buy a large lot of hyacinths and bulbs, such as tulips and 
narcissus and the like, and plant them in the flower beds. 
Renew the stock of roses if possible. Take care of the grape 
border near the green-house, and cover it up with a coating 
of manure, and see if we can t have some grapes next year. 
In the spring early look out for pruning the trees and cutting 
out all the dead wood, whether in fruit or ornamental trees. 
Let him take pains with the green-house, and have a fine 
show of flowers which he may sell if he chooses. In fine, if 
he will take care of the place I will see that he is handsomely 
rewarded. Let Blanche bring her saddle with her down 
somewhere wherever we may be. 

There, dearest, have I not shown that I am quite a "family 
man" by the numberless details I have written? and yet 
I have room to say I love you much, dearest, and wish you were 
with me. You need not talk about my perfectibility, "none 
of that, an thou lovest me, Hal." You will have to love me 
as I am, all faults and foibles except that "corner of the heart" 
which you rejected with such scorn last spring, which is all 
right and is yours because it is all yours. So good-night - 
"I ll to my truckle bed." BENJ 

From General Grant 

Head Quarters Armies of the United States, CITY POINT, VA., Sept. 27th, 1864 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Comd g. Army of the James River 

GENERAL: Prepare your Army according to the verbal 
instructions already given for moving on the morning of the 
29th inst. Your lines between the James & Appomattox 
Rivers can be held with new regiments and such artillery as 
you deem necessary. All garrisons from your command, 
below the mouth of the Appomattox, will be left as they are 



172 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

now. The movement should be commenced at night, and 
so as to get a considerable force north of the James River 
ready to assault the enemy s lines in front of Deep Bottom 
and from about Aikens House, or other point above Deep 
Bottom where the two assaulting columns will be in easy 
supporting distance of each other as soon as the enemy s line 
is broken, at the dawn of day. If one good division from 
each of your two Corps are over in time for this, with the 
balance of their corps following, with a pontoon bridge for 
each, it will answer. The object of this movement is to 
surprise and capture Richmond if possible. This cannot be 
done if time is given the enemy to move forces to the north 
side of the river. Success will depend on prompt movement 
at the start. Should the outer line be broken, the troops will 
push for Richmond with all promptness, following roads as 
near the river as possible. It is impossible to point out the 
line of march for an army in the presence of the enemy, because 
the enemy may interpose such an obstacle on our route as 
to make it impracticable. It is known that the enemy has 
intrenched positions on the bank of the river, between Deep 
Bottom & Richmond, such as Chapin s Farm, which are 
garrisoned. If these can be captured in passing they should 
be held by suitable garrisons. If not captured, troops should 
be left to hold them in their position, and should intrench to 
make themselves strong. It will be necessary therefore to 
have your Engineer troops, with their tools, well up with the 
advance. Should you succeed in getting to Richmond, the 
interposition of the whole army (rebel) between you and 
your supplies need cause no alarm. With the Army under 
Gen. Meade, supplies could be cut off from the enemy in the 
event of so unexpected a move, and communications opened 
with you either by the south side or from the White House 
before the supplies you would find in the city would be ex 
hausted. In case you reach Richmond, the details for garrison 
ing and holding the place are left to you, or the senior officer 
with the troops that get in. One thing I would say, however; 
all the bridges connecting the city with the south side should 
be destroyed at once and held beyond a peradventure. 

As the success of this enterprise depends entirely on celerity, 
the troops will go light. They will take only a single blanket 
rolled and carried over the shoulder, three days rations in 
haversacks, and sixty rounds of ammunition in box and on 
the person. No wagons will be taken. They will be supplied, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 173 

however, with six days rations, half forage for the same time, 
and forty rounds of extra ammunition per man, to follow if 
they should be required. No wagons will cross the James 
River until ordered by you. The whole of the force under 
Gen. Meade will be under arms at 4 A.M. on the 29th, ready 
to attack Petersburg or move on to the south side road as 
circumstances may determine. As against any force now 
north of the James, you can go to Richmond even without a 
surprise. If the enemy resists you by sufficient force to 
prevent your advance, it is confidently expected that Gen. 
Meade can gain a decisive advantage on his end of the line. 
The prize sought is either Richmond or Petersburg, or a 
position which will secure the fall of the latter. Please furnish 
me a copy of your detailed instructions. I am, General, very 
respectfully, y^ ^ ^ n g GRANT? Lt 



From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. &N.C., in the Field, Sept. 27, 64 

Lieut. Gen. GRANT, Comd g., &c. 

TELEGRAM received. The dispositions are being made. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. 2,7th, 10.30 A.M. 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

I HAVE just received the order of the Department, Special 
Orders No. 317, Paragraph 58, detailing Col. Howard of the 
Quarter Master s department to St. Louis on a board of 
examination of officers of the Qr. Master s department. Col. 
Howard is the Chief Qr. Master of the 18th Corps. That 
Corps is about starting on a march of considerable extent. 
His presence is most essential to the movement. Is it possible 
to have the detail changed? BENJ R BUTLER> Maj ^^ 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. 2,7th, 1864, 11.15 A.M. 

His Excellency Governor CONEY, State of Maine, 

AUGUSTA, MAINE 

THE 8th and llth Maine regiments are in my command 
and are weak. They will require about 500 men each to 
bring them to full efficiency. Can you not send me a detach- 



174 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

ment of about that number of recruits that may be put in 
these regiments? One recruit in an old regt. is worth two in 
a new organization. If you cannot do that, I do not see but 
that we must consolidate the regiments, which I should regret 
to do. Please answer by telegraph. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., Sept. Wth, 1864, 9.25 P.M. 

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President United States, WASHINGTON 

ASST. SURGEON WILLIAM GROUSE has deceived the Presi 
dent. He has not been dismissed. He received an appoint 
ment as Asst. Surgeon from me. In writing he refused to 
accept the appointment, which was thereupon revoked because 
of his refusal to accept it. Then finding that he was drinking 
and worthless, and as some thought crazy, I ordered him out 
of the Dept. I will forward official copies of the papers to- 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 
From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Head Quarters Army of the James, in the Field, September 28, 1864 

MY DEAREST SALLIE: I got a nice little note from you last 
night. I am grieved to hear Harriet is worse, but hope with 
you she will be better tomorrow. 

I would give much to see you. I have never started on an 
important expedition before without you to say a last word 
and a kind kiss, but you will find it all on my part in this 
letter. It was a sort of support, like praying a patron saint; 
not that the saint could help much, but it did one good to pray. 

I am not very well this morning, but then it is the old 
Hotel trouble now so you need not feel uneasy. 

I shall be very busy now for a day or two, and perhaps not 
in connection with the mails, so that you need not think it 
strange if you do not get a letter for a day or two. Or if you 
do they will be hurried as this is, for indeed I did not go to 
bed till 2:30 last night, and am up writing, as you see, before 
seven this morning. Kiss me, dearest, and believe me 

Your loving BENJ. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 175 

From General Butler 

CONFIDENTIAL. Headquarters Department Virginia & North Carolina, 

in the Field, Sept. 28^, 1864 

To Maj. Genl. ORD, Comdg. 18th Corps, 

Maj. Genl. BIRNEY, Comd g. 10th Corps, 
Brig. Genl. KAUTZ, Comdg. Div. of Cavalry 
PURSUANT to the verbal directions and written instructions 
of the Lieut. Genl. Comdg., the Army of the James is about 
to make a movement on the north side of the James River. 

Its Object 

Is to surprise the Confederate forces in our front here, and 
passing them to get possession of the City of Richmond. 
Failing that, to make such serious and determined demonstra 
tion to that end as shall draw reinforcements from the right 
of the enemy s line in sufficient numbers so as to enable the 
Army of the Potomac to move upon the enemy s communica 
tion near Petersburg. The forces appropriated to this purpose 
are so much of the "Army of the James" as can be spared from 
the lines at Bermuda Hundred and the garrisoned posts on 
the River the strength of which forces you know. 

The manner in which the movement is to be made 

The Acting Chief of Engineers will have caused by twelve (12) 
o clock midnight of the 28th inst. a sufficient pontoon bridge, 
well covered to prevent noise, to be laid from the road on the 
south side of the James to a point near Varina or Aikens 
Landing. 

The 18th Army Corps, with the exception of the colored 
division at Deep Bottom, will move across that bridge and 
make an attack upon the enemy s line in the manner herein 
after to be detailed. 

At the same time the 10th Corps will cross the pontoon 
bridge at Deep Bottom, and make in like manner and at the 
same time, demonstration in connection with the third (3d) 
division of the 18th Corps from that point. 

The position and numbers of the enemy 

As near as can be ascertained, the enemy hold a line of earth 
works starting at a point at or near Cox s Ferry, at a station 
called by them "Signal Hill," running thence easterly in the 
rear of Cox s Overseer s house, from thence to a point in the 
rear of J. Aikens house to the hill in rear of the point marked 



176 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

"Newmarket" on the map across the Varina road partially 
along the Kingsland road, which line it is believed terminates 
substantially as a continuous entrenched line at that point. 
Most of the line has abatis but no ditch. 

The troops holding that line, from all the information 
gathered, are Bushrod Johnson s (Tennessee) Brigade about 
four hundred and fifty (450) men for duty, with its pickets 
advanced beyond Cox s Overseer s house toward Dutch Gap, 
holding the line nearly three-quarters of a mile beyond that 
point to a point near the Varina road at a point about three 
hundred (300) yards to the west of which the line of breast 
works terminates to be resumed on the other side of road. 

The 25th Va. (City Battalion), numbering not to exceed 
two hundred (200) men for duty, are extended along the line 
toward Buffin s House, in front of our position at Deep Bot 
tom. 

They are there joined by Bennings (old) Georgia Brigade, 
commanded by Col. Dubow, numbering about four hundred 
(400) men, who are extended along the line past Buffin s 
house the picket line being near the house of J. Aikens. 

They are there joined by Griggs Texas Brigade, numbering 
about four hundred (400) men for duty, who extend along 
the line to a place called Newmarket, where the enemy have a 
pretty strong work, on a height commanding the Newmarket 
road. 

These are all the infantry forces except a Battalion of 
militia reserves, numbering about one hundred and seventy- 
five (175) men for duty, who are in camp some distance to the 
rear, who form a connecting line between Johnson s Brigade 
and the City Battalion. These reserves are composed of 
soldiers below the age of eighteen (18) and above the age of 
forty-five (45), but they with the City Battalion have never 
been under fire. 

At the place marked on the map "Drill Room" is stationed 
a regiment believed to be about four hundred men, (400) the 
7th South Carolina Cavalry. 

At the place marked "Sweeny s Pottery," Wade Hampton s 
Legion, numbering about four hundred (400) men, are stationed 
on the easterly side of "Four Mile Creek" and "Bailey s 
Run," apparently to guard the road by which General Han 
cock advanced over "Strawberry Plains" from below "Four 
Mile Creek," and picketting out toward Malvern Hill. In 
the rear, at the intersection of the roads near the point marked 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 177 

"W. Throzmorton," is a regiment, the 24th Va. Cavalry, 
numbering about four hundred (400) men. 

In Chaffin s farm there is (no) garrison except about one 
hundred (100) heavy artillerists holding that place, as an 
intrenched camp. It is also a camp for the sick and convales 
cents of the Va. Battalion. 

There are, then, no other troops between the troops herein 
enumerated and Richmond except an artillery company in 
each of the detached works of that class numbered twenty- 
three (23) on the map, and the one at "Toll Gate" and the 
"Race Course." The continuous line of works shown on the 
map are wholly unoccupied. 

It will be seen, therefore, that these bodies of which we have 
knowledge, if the information is correct, should be two thousand 
eight hundred and seventy-five (2875) men, and it may be 
safely predicted that there are not three thousand (3000) effect 
ive men outside of the limits of the City of Richmond on the 
north side of the river. It is upon this information, which is 
fully credited, that the movement is largely based. 

The means of reinforcement by the enemy 

There are between the Appomattox and the James less than 
thirty-five hundred (3500) men holding a line nearly ten (10) 
miles in extent, and the nearest considerable body of Con 
federate troops are massed some seven (7) miles still further 
off below Petersburg. 

Most of the force between the Appomattox and the James 
is directly in the front of our lines and cannot be much de 
pleted. Their means of crossing the River are by the pontoon 
bridge, one between the fortifications of Drury s Bluff on the 
west and Chaffin s Farm on the east of the James. These 
fortifications are about a mile apart, and have two or three 
barbett guns bearing on the bridge heads. There is no other 
tele du pont. This is a pontoon bridge and is above fortifica 
tions at Chaffin s on the one side, and below Drury s on the 
other. These fortifications are about a mile apart. Next, a 
trestle-work bridge with schooners for a draw at a point 
opposite the place of William Throzmorton at the mouth of 
"Falling Creek" landing on the westerly side of the River at 
the southerly side of the mouth of the Creek again a trestle 
bridge at a point opposite Col. Knight s house, another trestle 
bridge nearly opposite the battery marked twenty-three (23) on 
plan. These three last have no tetes du pont on the north side. 

VOL. V 12 



178 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

The manner of attack 

A large element of the complete success of this movement 
depends upon the celerity and the cooperation in point of 
time of the several commands in the attack. It is proposed 
that Maj. Gen l. Ord shall dispose one of the divisions of his 
Corps in such positions as to mass them near Varina on the 
north bank during the night silently so as not to be observed 
by the enemy, and from thence just before daybreak, which 
is assumed to be thirty (30) minutes past four (4) o clock A.M. 
and that will govern in point of time, to make a sudden, sharp 
attack in column upon the enemy s lines nearly opposite his 
position upon the Varina road. At the same time, General 
Birney, having massed such divisions as he chooses or using 
the 3rd division of the 18th Corps at Deep Bottom for that 
purpose for which it will be temporarily reported to him, will 
make a like attack substantially at the point where he attacked 
before in the late essay across the James, and endeavor to 
carry Newmarket road and the heights adjacent, if he cannot 
turn them to the left without too great loss. 

If successful and the way can be opened, Genl. Kautz s 
cavalry having been massed near the pontoon bridge at Deep 
Bottom and crossing while the attack is going on, will im 
mediately push out, attempt to cross the Newmarket road, 
turning the enemy s forces and left flank if possible, avoiding 
a fight as a preference, and attempt to reach the "Central" 
or as it is called in the Country there "Darbytown Road." 
If successful in striking that road, Genl. Kautz is to make 
the utmost diligence and celerity of marching up that road 
toward Richmond, or if he finds himself opposed in such 
manner as to render it advisable, he will still further flank to 
the right and strike the Charles City road as both roads lead 
into the City within a mile of each other. 

If Gen l. Ord is successful in passing the enemy s line in his 
front, he is to move right on up the Varina road and endeavor to 
reach the entrenched camp at Chaflin s farm, and if possible to 
take it, and secure and destroy the pontoon crossing just above. 

Perhaps Gen l. Ord will find the better way to take the 
works at Chaffin s Farm is to pass them by the Varina road, 
or turn them near the house of J. Aikens and pass to the rear, 
as the demoralization of their defenders if any get there from 
Johnson s command will be greater when they find themselves 
cut off from Richmond. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 179 

Gen l. Ord will observe that the Varina road runs within 
two miles of the river, and he may be annoyed by the enemy s 
gunboats, but they would seem to amount to an annoyance 
only at that distance, yet an attempt to take the work would 
seem the most feasible from the northwest side of the salient 
extending in that direction, as there he will be entirely pro 
tected by the high bluff from the fire of the enemy s gunboats. 

But much of this detail of course must be left to his discre 
tion on the ground, which he is enjoined to use largely as to 
modes and places of attack. Gen l. Ord is expressly cautioned, 
however, to lose no time in attempting to envelope Chaffin s 
farm, but rather, if he can take the line of works extending 
across his path, to place what in his judgment may be a suffi 
cient force, with orders to entrench so as to hold the bridge, 
and with the rest of his forces to push up toward the New 
market road at the junction of which with the Varina road he 
will probably be met with some force, that being near the 
station of the cavalry. 

If Chaffin s Farm can be taken, a force should be detached 
to hold it, although it becomes of minor importance except 
as a possible bridge-head for a new pontoon bridge to be 
throw T n, brought from the Appomattox, but that is a question 
of time. Leaving sufficient force to protect his rear from 
the enemy crossing after striking the Newmarket Junction, at 
which point, it is hoped he will be joined by General Birney, 
who will have proceeded up the Newmarket road Gen l. 
Ord will move to the left and attempt to strike the Richmond 
and Osborne old turnpike, and also to detach a force and 
destroy or hold the bridge next above, and proceed onwards 
up that road until the Junction with the Newmarket road, at 
which point the only other force of the enemy is supposed to be 
found on the garrisons of the detached works. 

Again, an attempt should be made to destroy the bridge 
opposite Battery twenty-three (23). 

If these bridges can be destroyed with reasonable celerity, 
there can be but little doubt of the complete success of the 
movement. 

Meanwhile, Gen l. Birney will have moved by the New 
market road up to the point of intersection, where it may be 
necessary to turn the works by a flank movement to the left 
in the direction marked on the map "Cox," but that like the 
other method of attack must be left largely to the discretion 
of Gen l. Birney. 



180 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

As soon as possible after the advance has been made from 
Deep Bottom, whether the attack is made by the third (3rd) 
Division of the 18th Corps or a Division of the 10th Corps, 
the third (3rd) Division under Gen l. Paine will have position 
upon the left of Gen l. Birney s column of march, so that 
when the junction is formed with Gen l. Ord that division 
may report to him relieved from its temporary assignment 
to duty with the 10th Corps. 

The Comdg. Gen l. of the Army will endeavor to keep 
himself in communication with the Corps Commanders so as 
to afford any direction, advice, or assistance that may be in 
his power, and by being kept advised of the movements of 
the one and the other of the Corps Commanders, as well as 
the command of Gen l. Kautz, he may be thus enabled to 
secure more perfect cooperation than would otherwise be 
possible. 

If the movement is made with celerity; if the march is 
held uninterruptedly as much as possible, and if in the first 
attack the element of unity of time is observed which has 
been greatly neglected in some of the movements of the Army, 
we shall gain over the enemy so far as any considerable rein 
forcements are concerned some eight (8) to twelve (12) hour 
and perhaps more of valuable time which ought not to be 
lost, and which should bring us far on our journey in the 
twelve (12) miles which we are to go. 

As the force of the enemy is so small, there will need to be 
none of those delays for deployments which generally take 
so much time in movements on the enemy. 

If we are not mistaken in the force opposed to us, and if 
we are not we shall learn it very early, that force or any other 
that may be got on that side of the river for six (6) hours 
need give us no alarm or trouble, nor indeed when the two 
Corps have joined need we fear any force which the enemy 
by possibility can detach from the army without abandoning 
his position on the right altogether, in which case we shall be 
likely to get reinforcements nearly as early as he will. Upon 
approaching the detached works at Richmond, if we are 
fortunate enough to succeed so far, as they will be found to 
be some three-quarters of a mile apart and not connected with 
rifle pits, and as they are all open in the rear, a quick move 
ment of a small column of troops between them will put them 
into the hands of the attacking party, of course, receiving the 
fire of the heavy guns in position which are manned by inex- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 181 

perienced artillerists, and are therefore far less destructive than 
light guns in the same position. 

Getting between two of their works so as to get into the 
rear would open the gates of Richmond. 

What is to be done in Richmond 

Whatever Division or other body of troops shall get into 
Richmond, it will be their duty immediately, without waiting 
for parley or doing anything else, to proceed at once to the 
bridges across the James River, seizing upon inhabitants to 
guide them for that purpose if necessary, and destroy them. 
Fire is the readiest way of destroying bridges such as these are 
of wooden spans. As soon as that destruction has been 
accomplished, then unless both columns and the cavalry 
column have reached the City, as large a body as can possibly 
be spared will be sent to open the way upon the road by which 
such tardy column is supposed to be advancing by a sharp 
attack upon any enemy opposing in the rear. 

No large body of troops it is believed will be needed for 
this purpose, as the enemy under such circumstances would 
make no stand. 

In case a portion of the troops reach Richmond, and the 
troops holding either bridgehead below Richmond are attacked, 
they are to hold the ground as long as possible, having, the 
moment that they strike the point which they intend to hold, 
strengthened themselves by intrenchment as much as possible, 
for which reason the Battalion of Engineers has been ordered 
to report to Maj. Gen l. Ord, and will be well at the front, 
furnished with their intrenching tools. 

In case the troops guarding the bridges are forced back, 
they will retire upon the position held by our Army, not 
allowing the enemy to get between them and the main body. 

In case any portion of the troops have reached Richmond, 
and those outside are attacked by a force of the enemy which 
they are unable to resist, they will retire towards Richmond 
and not from it. 

It being intended if the town is once reached to hold it at 
all risks and at all hazards, and all Commanders of Divisions 
and others in advance are especially cautioned not to recognize 
or regard flags-of-truce if any are sent, but immediately 
receiving the bearer to press on. It will be time enough to 
deal with flags-of-truce after the object of the expedition is 
accomplished. 



182 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Details of the march and of the equipment of the troops 

As so much depends upon the celerity of movement, and the 
distance over which we are to move is so short, the troops 
will leave everything except a single blanket rolled over their 
shoulders, and haversack with three (3) days cooked rations 
and sixty (60) rounds of cartridge in their cartridge boxes and 
on their persons. All tents, camp equipage, and cooking 
utensils are to be left behind. No wagon will be allowed to 
cross the river without orders from these Headqrs. The 
wagon trains, however, will be supplied with six (6) days 
rations and half forage for the same time, and forty (40) rounds 
of extra ammunition per man ready to start as soon as ordered. 

As this movement will necessarily be a failure if it de 
generates into an artillery duel, there is no necessity for any 
artillery to cross until after the attempt to carry the first line 
of works, and then only such batteries as have been designated 
in the conversations between the Comdg. Gen l. and his 
Corps Commanders. 

The two Battalions of Horse Artillery reporting to Gen l. 
Kautz will cross and travel with him. 

Ambulances will be parked near the southern head of each 
pontoon bridge, ready to be used when occasion requires. 

Hospital boats will be at Deep Bottom for the purpose of 
receiving any wounded. Gen l. Kautz will take with him 
three (3) days cooked rations per man, and what forage he 
can conveniently carry. Assuming that he is better mounted 
than the enemy s cavalry and fresh, he will have no difficulty 
in case it should be necessary to cut loose from the infantry 
column and circle the city as far as may be necessary, re 
membering always that celerity of movement in cavalry in 
a far greater degree than infantry is the principal means of 
success. 

The Comd g. Gen l. cannot refrain in closing these instruc 
tions from pressing one or two points upon the attention of 
Corps Commanders. 

First the necessity of being ready to move and moving at 
the moment designated. 

Secondly the fact that the Comdg. Gen l. is under no sub 
stantial mistake in regard to the force to be at first encountered, 
and therefore there is no necessity of time spent in recon- 
noitering or taking special care of the flanks of the moving 
columns. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 183 

The Comdg. Gen l. would also recommend to the Corps 
Commanders, as soon as it may be done with safety from 
discovering the movement, to impress upon each of the Divi 
sion Commanders with directions for them to transmit the 
information through their subordinates, even to the privates, 
of the number and kind of troops we are required to meet, so 
there may be no panic from supposed flanking movements of 
the enemy, or attacks in the rear always a source of de 
moralization where the troops do not understand the force of 
the enemy. Let us assure and instruct our men that we are 
able to fight anything we will find either in front or flank or 
rear, wherever they may happen to be. 

Lastly, the Comdg. Gen l. will recommend for promotion 
to the next higher grade the Brig. Gen l. Comdg. Division, 
Colonel Comdg. Brigade, and so down to all officers and 
soldiers of the leading division, brigade or regiment which 
first enters Richmond, and he doubts not that his recom 
mendation will be approved by the Lieut. Gen l. and acted 
upon by the President, and if Richmond is taken he will 
pledge to the Division, Brigade, or Regiment first entering 
the city to each officer and man six (6) months extra pay. 

\Yhile making this offer so general to officers and men, the 
Comdg. Gen l. desires to say that he has not included the 
Maj. Gen l s Comdg. Corps, because he knows of no in 
centive which could cause them to do their duty with more 
promptness and efficiency than they will do it. 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs., Sept. 28th, 1.15 A.M. 

Maj. Genl. BIRNEY, Commanding &c. 

ARE you moving tonight? At what time did the movement 

begm? BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Sept. 28th, 1864, 10 A.M. 

Brig. Gen l. PAINE, Comd g. at DEEP BOTTOM 

OF course you will use your discretion as to what troops you 
will leave behind that you think are not fit for service. The 
two () regiments at Pocahontas and Harrison Landing will be 
with you in the course of the day. Gen l. Birney will have a 
new regiment which he will probably leave in your works. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 



184 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Sept. mh, 1864, 10.20 A.M. 

Maj. Genl. BIRNEY, Comd g. 10th Corps 

I HAVE ordered the 1st Md. Cavalry to report back to you 
as infantry. It is impossible to mount them in season for 
operations. Their comd g. officer will meet you at my Hd. 
Qrs. this afternoon. How many of the 4th Mass, can you 
possibly spare me? Do as well as you can. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Sept. 28th, 1864 

Brig. Gen. MARSTON, Comd g. at FORT POCAHONTAS 

You will send with the utmost possible despatch the two 
colored regiments to Deep Bottom to report to General Paine. 
They will not stop at City Point, but proceed directly up the 
river. You will send the 89th New York to the wharf this 
side of the pontoon bridge near the Point of Rocks. You 
will garrison your post with the forces that are left. Please 
send me any information you may have received during the 
day, even if it requires a special boat. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, Sept. 28tk, 1864 

Maj. Gen l. ORD, Comd g. 18th A. C. 

You will make arrangements for holding your line between 
the Appomattox and the James with the provisional brigade. 
I have taken from it only two battalions which you report 
unfit for field duty, and shall send a regiment to your moving 
column instead. You can move them at such time during 
the day and supply the place in such manner as you see fit 
with your provisional brigade and such other troops as you 
may deem necessary. You can move them at any time 
during the day. Their exhibition on your line can do you no 
harm. Indeed a little (parade) of them might aid. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 185 

From General Ord 

Ed. Qrs. Army James Sept. 28th, 1864 

Col. POTTER, Commanding Provisional Brigade 

You will send two of your best companies to Bermuda 
Hundreds under a Major, to relieve the Fortieth (40) Mass. 

Let it be done at once. ^ ~ n ~ A7 v T/ 7 ~ ,, 

Jb. O. C. ORD, N. Y. Vols. Comd g. 

From General Ord 

Ed. Qrs. 18th Army Corps, Sept 28th, 1864 

THE Commander of the 40th Mass, on duty at Bermuda 
Hundred will with his regiment report as soon as relieved to 
Col. Potter at these Head Quarters. 

E. O. C. ORD, N. Y. Vols. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. 28th, 1864, 7.35 P.M. 

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President United States, WASHINGTON 

JOHN H. LESTER S property was confiscated to the use of 
the United States and is in the hands of the Provost Marshal 
at Fortress Monroe. The record of confiscation will be 
found in General Orders No. 50, published May 8th, 1864. 
I will send for a copy and forward it as early as possible. 

We did not confiscate three hundred thousand (300,000) 
dollars worth of cotton which Lester had at Wilmington and 
(60,000) sixty thousand dollars in gold which he had in Canada. 
The original record is in the Judge Advocate s Office. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army of James, Sept. 28th, 1864, 7.35 P.M. 

Major STACKPOLE, Judge Advocate, FORT MONROE 
SEND up the record of John H. Lester s trial. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., Sept. 28th, 1864, 8.15 P.M. 

Col. HOFFMAN, Commanding Gen I. of Prisoners, 

WASHINGTON, D. C. 

THE one thousand (1000) invalid prisoners, of which you 
speak, better be sent to Point Lookout. I will see that they 



186 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

are furnished with transportation to Fort Pulaski. On the 
going up of the flag-of-truce boat I will arrange with Mr. 
Ould as to where he will receive the invalid prisoners on the 
Mississippi. BENJ F BuTLER> Ma j Gen -> L 



From Colonel Shaffer to General Butler 

Head Quarters Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

FORT MONROE, VIRGINIA, Sept. 28^, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: At the time Todd Chamberlain Co. was 
closed, I spoke to you and had permission to grant the license 
to Walker & Co., of which my brother William was to be 
one-third owner. They have never commenced under the 
permit owing to my brother s doubt of being able to do business 
under General Shepley. And after spending some time here 
he told me that he had determined not to go into business 
here as he could not get Shepley to stick to any arrangement 
made, and that it was impossible to do business independent 
of him. Walker had arranged for his share of the capital, 
and is very anxious to go on and establish a permanent house 
in Norfolk. And is very anxious that I should put in Bill s 
share of the capital, and take the same interest, which I have 
concluded to do when I get home. I find my affairs in such 
shape as to enable me to do it. I believe that Norfolk will 
prosper, and I know Walker will deal honestly by me, so that 
what I put in I do just as I would taking so much bank or 
railroad stock. 

The contract is that I am to be relieved from all responsi 
bility in regard to the business. I should have liked first to 
have seen you and talked the matter over, but that was 
impossible. If you see any impropriety in my taking an 
interest here please drop me a line at Freeport so that I can 
stop in time. I told Walker I would not ask any special 
favors for the concern, only such as all could have, except 
this that the other officers be not allowed to embarrass and 
hinder. Walker has got the impression that a concern that 
I am interested in will do most of the North Carolina business 
this side of China (after he gets possession), as he says those 
people feel very kind and under many obligations to me. 

I am not conscious of having done more than to have treated 
them as they came up last winter with what I considered 
proper attention. 

However, be this as it may, Walker is entirely willing to 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 187 

have whatever strength I may have offset his services, or 
rather relieve me from any service. I have faith in the enter 
prise. I may be mistaken, but I am acting from what I 
consider good evidences. 

If Walker should call on you, you can talk freely with him. 
I told him to get along with Shepley as long as he could hon 
ourably, but no longer. That my pride would not allow me 
to have an interest in any business that owed its success to 
quieting self-respect to any such a man as Shepley. 

Now, understand me General. If there is to your mind 
the least impropriety in my movements, let me know and I 

will stop. I leave in five hours. v T ^ r ~ 

i ours, J . W . SHAFFER 

From George B. Way 

WASHINGTON CITY, Sept. ZSth, A.D. 1864 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commandg. in the Field 

DEAR SIR: When I visited your quarters last month, with 
letters of introduction from Gen. Schenck and Mr. Risley, I 
was anxiously searching for profitable employment, and you 
were good enough to say that you would take pleasure in 
assisting me. We spoke of trade stores at Norfolk, and you 
offered me one of these. On Captain Cassell s arriving in 
camp, you referred me to him for particulars. When I left 
Bermuda Hundreds, it was with the expectation of seeing the 
Captain again at Fortress Monroe within two or three days, 
but after waiting his arrival there an entire week, I was com 
pelled to return to my family. Before leaving the Fort, 
however, I left the letters I had shown you (accompanied by 
one from myself) with a friend who promised to deliver them 
to Capt. Cassell on his return. I also addressed a letter to 
you, in which I informed you that my enquiries at Norfolk 
and the Fort had induced me to believe that, owing to the 
number of permits granted, it was impossible to make money 
out of a trade store in Norfolk, unless liquors were included 
in the stock. I begged you, therefore, to give me the privilege 
of dealing in wines, liquors, ales. etc. To this I have received 
no answer. Subsequently I wrote to Captain Cassell to know 
what amount of goods per month I would be permitted to take 
to Norfolk, exclusive of liquors. This letter also remains 
unanswered. After my return to Washington I addressed 
you again, recapitulating briefly the contents of my letter 
from Fortress Monroe, and informed you that I would request 



188 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

a letter from Governor Chase, late Secretary of the Treasury, 
that you might be satisfied that I was not utterly unworthy 
of the assistance my friend Gen. Schenck had requested you 
to give me. Gov. Chase wrote me in reply from Salem, 
Mass., enclosing a letter to you which I forward with this. 
It would have been sent to you earlier but that I have been 
expecting for weeks to visit your camp again in company with 
Mr. Risley. Mr. R. has been and still is detained here by 
pressing business, and my funds are getting so low that it 
has become necessary to address you without further delay. 
And now, General, cannot you do something for me? You 
told me the number of liquor stores at Norfolk was limited to 
twelve. By permitting another, it will only, after all, be a 
"Baker s dozen." A general trade store including a limited 
stock of liquors I think might be granted me. I very much 
fear that I am becoming troublesome, but I am in so much 
distress that I am compelled to try every means in my power 
to procure remunerative employment. Were I sure that you 
had not received the letters I have hitherto addressed to you, 
I would explain at length my embarrassments, and the causes 
which led to them. But I think all this has been done in one 
or perhaps two of the letters you should already have received. 
And perhaps this would be unnecessary in any event. Gov. 
Chase, who is a friend of many years and knows my history, 
informs you that I have met with misfortunes. It is enough 
for me to add that they have left me almost destitute. You 
know, therefore, that I am in great distress, and if this con 
stitutes any claims on you, I urge it. My knee, very seriously 
injured by a fall from an ambulance whilst on duty in Western 
Virginia, renders it impossible for me to seek employment 
requiring locomotion. The surgeons say that I can hardly 
hope to regain the use of my knee in a twelvemonth. 

If it should prove impossible to give me the facilities I seek 
at Norfolk, is there anything else you can do for me? Or, 
can you give me hope in the future? In the event of the 
capture of Petersburg and Richmond, for example, can any 
thing be found for me to do? Give my application a charitable 
consideration. Believe me, you seldom have an opportunity 
of being so serviceable to your fellow-man. It seems hard 
to me, crippled and unfortunate as I am, to see men who are 
in no need of assistance, and whom I know to be mentally 
and morally my inferiors, daily receiving positions and favors 
which I seek for in vain. But I have no more to say. I can 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 189 

only beg you in conclusion to answer this as soon as your 
convenience will reasonably permit. And do try, General, to 
comply with my request. With sincere respect, your friend 
and servant, GEORGE B. WAY, No. 372 Fourth Street 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Head Quarters Army of the James, in the Field, Sept. 28, 1864, 11.45 P.M. 

MY DEAREST SARAH : It is now midnight, and I am to be up 
at 3 A.M. tomorrow and start out on our move, and so shall 
have no time to write in the morning. 

Indeed, I have nothing to say now save that I was disap 
pointed in not getting a letter tonight. 

I will enclose the last I have received from you, and say 
goodby dearest (who writes oftenest now?), ^ 

From General Butler to General Meade 

TELEGRAM. In the Field, Junction of Varina and New Market Road, 

(Sept. 28), 12.15 P.M. 

SIGNAL officer reports train of 16 cars heavily loaded with 
troops from Petersburg to Richmond. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

At Junction of New Market and Varina Road, (Sept. 28), 12.50 P.M. 

BIRNEY is this moment making his attack. Will inform 
you at once. 16 cars from Petersburg with troops for Rich 
mond. Have sent word to Gen. Meade. The enemy s works 
do not cross the Varina road, but run nearly parallel with it 
to within three miles of Richmond. We shall try the works 
if they are carried, it is the best obstacle. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Sept. 29, 1864 

DEAREST: Two letters today. Yesterday none. One is 
quite long, both pleasant. Only you do not look at things 
quite rightly. Enthusiasm with you is on the wane. That 
you think that, I do not altogether credit, but if it were so it 
should not change your interest in life. On you it depends 
whether the enthusiasm, hopes, and aspirations of your boys 



190 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

are directed aright. If they do the world injury instead of 
good, it will in part be our fault. And for your daughter - 
but I think you do not require any suggestions from me on 
those matters, So far from being obliged to give your thoughts 
principally to their progress, I look upon your career as just 
begun. Never think you will not find pleasure in it. It is 
only when hope is defeated for the time being that one is 
indifferent. It springs again fresh as at first. And every 
year the great game is played with increased interest (as it 
will be with you) till the very aged are more reluctant to quit 
than the mere youth. Write me the result of your interview 
with Seward. I am very sorry I could not see him. If the 
care of the family will admit, I shall go to Washington with 
Blanche this Winter for a time, if you approve. I wish to 
know some of the people there. I hope the campaign will be 
in such condition that you can go with us. I cannot yet find 
those bills for the furniture. Nor the appointments for 
Weitzel and Terry. I will look for the last at the office as we 
go down to put the letter in the mail. Your coat will be 
ordered this afternoon, and forwarded as soon as finished. 
Your letters are very kind, dearest, and fully believed in. 
A part of the time I am merry enough, and too busy to be 
gloomy at any time. I never had more care than at the 
present time, as you can see, with Harriet sick and so many 
to think of. But after a little I shall shake it off and run 
about for pleasure. I am never so busy as to forget you, and 
what would be the next best thing, where you will go, and 
what you will do; these are the primary objects, the others, 
the petty ones of life that take up time and must be attended 
to. The children are well and all busy. Harriet is not so 
well. If she does not gain she cannot go with us. All that 
you have written will be attended to. 

Most truly yours, dearest, SARAH 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Sept. 29, 1864, Sunday morning 5.00 o clock. 
Head Qrs. at Intersection of Varina and New Market Roads, near RICHMOND 

MY DEAREST LITTLE WIFE: I am waiting now expecting an 
attack from the enemy which will be made at daylight if at 
all. I think I improve the vacant space in writing you - 
not to relieve foolish fears, because you are too much of a 
soldier s wife to have any, but to draw away from the grim 
surroundings and have a moment with you in a nice quiet 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 191 

chamber at home. Home, what a thought here in this wild 
savage scene! A pine forest, camp fires lighting up the dark 
trunks all around, the rain pattering from the pine leaves, 
now pouring as they are shaken by the wind upon the tent 
fly. Dull day just breaking, showing a hazy blue outline 
with the tops of the trees, and beginning to contend with the 
flaring candle for a supply of light. Sounds not less strange, 
the shrieking mules making most hideous yells for their morn 
ing feed, the tap, tap, tap of the choppers all around as they 
slash the trees for defence or fell them for fire wood; the 
occasional picket shot from our side replied to by the enemy, 
Now about --it would seem about to break out into a battle 
- and dying again away with intervals of comparative quiet 
in which, however, the ear can hardly tell the difference from 
the rumbling of the army wagon over the corduroy roads. 
Now the reveille bugle calls, waking up the soldiers, so that 
if this letter is to be interrupted by a contest it will be soon in 
earnest. With all these sights, sounds, and expected changes 
of thought and action, you may w r ell regard it as one of the 
scenes that a life-time may never give another, but thought 
is too tense, the mind is too unsettled to make it otherwise 
than savagely pleasant, and so I am trying to give my mind 
a turn to you and the sweet peace and quiet of home and to 
talk with you as you lay in your quiet bed. Now, after the 
first exclamation of "How in the world came you here?" 
you would say, "What have you been about?" -and I after 
a little ceremony, which you can guess, should tell you that, 

On Thursday last, after careful preparation in obedience 
to the orders of Lt. General Grant, I took my two corps and 
Kautz s Cavalry, all the army of the James, numbering about 
one-half, which you know was the army which we left the 
Fortress with on the fifth of May, and moved across the 
river at daylight, and at two points, Aikens landing or Varina, 
and the other Deep Bottom about 3 miles below. 

Gen. Ord s column was to attack the enemy s intrenched 
camp at Chapin s farm, or bluff, as it is called. This was 
most gallantly done. The very strong works of the enemy 
were carried, fifteen guns some very large ones, were ours. 
At the same time, Gen. Birney, with Paine s Division of 
colored troops, took the strong works of the enemy at New 
Market, which stopped Hancock s advance when we moved 
over here before at the point of the bayonet, a charge, 
agreed to be the most gallant and dashing of the war. They 



192 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

suffered largely, and some two hundred of them lay with 
their backs to the earth and their feet to the fore, with their 
sable faces made by death a ghastly, tawny blue, with their 
expression of determination, which never dies out of brave 
men s faces who die instantly in a charge, forming a sad sight, 
which is burnt on my memory as I rode through them as 
they lay. Poor fellows, they seem to have so little to fight 
for in this contest, with the weight of prejudice loaded upon 
them, their lives given to a country which has given them 
not yet justice, not to say fostering care. To us, there is pa 
triotism, fame, love of country, pride, ambition, all to spur 
us on, but to the negro, none of all these for his guerdon of 
honor. But there is one boon they love to fight for, freedom 
for themselves and their race forever, and may my "right 
hand forget her cunning" but they shall have that. The 
man who says the negro will not fight is a coward, and his 
liver is white, and that is all there is truly white about him. 
His soul is blacker than the dead faces of these dead negroes, 
upturned to heaven in solemn protest against him and his 
prejudices. I have not been so much moved during this 
war as I was by this sight. Dead men and many of them 
I have seen, alas! too many, but no such touching sight as 
this. Their valor had just been reported to me, and I rode 
through the evidences of it and over the strong position which 
they had cleared for me. Gen. Birney went on his corps 
carried two lines of intrenchments, and then we were unsuc 
cessful in an attack on the enemy s works, and night came on 
and we took up our position for the night. Yesterday the 
enemy made a most determined assault upon our (lines), and 
specially upon the lines of the 18th Corps under the command 
of Weitzel, who came here from Newburn the night after we 
came up, relieving Ord who was wounded. Lee commanded 
in person and was determined to retake the fort, but the 
assault was repulsed with fearful slaughter of the enemy, and 
we still hold our lines. The event is happening which I sup 
posed might when I began this letter Lee s cannon are 
opening on my dept., and I must be in the saddle. Goodbye, 
dearest wife, I have not written a word which I intended when 
I began, but that "corner" of the heart is all right. -& 

We captured five hundred prisoners, 18 commissioned 
officers and five battle-flags. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 193 

From General Butler 

GREVERS HOUSE, 8.30 A.M., Sept. 29^ 

Lt. Genl. GRANT, CITY POINT 

BIRNEY has advanced from Deep Bottom and taken the 
main line of works at the signal tower, New Market Heights, 
which commands the road and is advancing. This lets out 
Kautz, who is starting by means of cavalry. We have com 
municated across to Ord s column, who Col. Meade of the 
4 Mass. Cavalry reports to have carried the enemy s main 
line of works in his front and is advancing rapidly. Paine s 
division, foot main line, holds on, but with considerable loss. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 

From General Butler 

TELEGRAM. Sept. 29th, GREVERS HOUSE, near KINGSLAND ROAD, 9 A.M. 

Col. POTTER, commanding defences of Bermuda line 

through Gen. BUTLER S Head Qrs. 

WE are advancing, all goes as intended thus far, two de 
serters of the 18th Corps have told enemy that all the troops 
have been taken out of your line. They may attack it; if so, 
it will be just at night or at daybreak. You may show them 
your force by displaying it on the lines. Have your reveille at 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 9 1. Comd g. 
From General Grant to General Butler 

SIGNAL HILL, Sept. 2Qth, 64, 12 M. 

AFTER riding forward to what was Gen. Birney s front at 
the time, the intersection of New Market & Mill road, I turned 
to the left and visited the works captured by the 18th Corps. 
From there I returned to Signal Hill, expecting to meet you. 
Being desirous of keeping in communication with Gen. Meade, 
I shall now return to Deep Bottom where any communication 
will reach me. If our troops do not reach Richmond this 
afternoon, my opinion is that it will be unsafe to spend the 
night north of the enemy s lower bridge. I think it advisable 
to select a line now to which the troops can be brought back 
tonight if they do not reach Richmond. I have not yet heard of 
any movements of troops south of the James. My desire to be 
informed on this subject prevents me riding forward to where 
you are. Please communicate to me all progress made. 

Yours, &c. 9 U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen 9 l. 

VOL. V 13 



194 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Grant to General Butler 

DEEP BOTTOM, 1.35 P.M., Sept. %9th, 1864 

IF Gen. Birney has not been successful in carrying the 
works in his front, I think it will be advisable to move out to 
the Central road. 

From the enclosed despatch you will see that all must be 
done today that can be done toward Richmond. 

U. S. GRANT, Li. Gen. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

Boat "Houstonic." Head Quarters, DEEP BOTTOM, Sept. 29th, 1864, 4.45 o clock P.M. 

I WILL now return to City Point, at which place dispatches 
will reach me telegraphed from here. Please say to Gen. 
Barnard that I will send a boat here for him. If the enemy 
do not reinforce by more than a Division, we will give them 
another trial in the morning, flanking instead of assaulting 

works * U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Head Qrs., Sept. 29th, 9.10 P.M. 

I AM holding the line pointed out by Col. Comstock and 
Gen. Barnard, to wit, from near Grave Yard at Cox s ferry up 
to the White House, thence to the fort taken by Ord s corps, 
thence along the lines of the enemy taken by us across New 
Market road, thence with the right refused extending to the 
Darbytown or Central road, thence by a cavalry picket across 
that road with a small brigade in reserve at the Junction of 
the Kingsland and Varina Road. Kautz has advanced up the 
central road to the inner line of redoubts near Richmond, 
thence he has flanked to the right, and has cut connection, 
and we have not heard from him. Col. Babcock has reported. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

Tell other events to you. If Gen. Meade does not attack, 
why can we not have the other corps? The danger is that 
the enemy may cross the river below us and get in our rear, 
as we have not cavalry to picket the line to Dutch Gap. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 195 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Sept. 29, 10 P.M. 

CAN you meet me as early as sunrise tomorrow morning 
at Deep Bottom? I desire to consult you. I would not say 
thus early were it not that any move should be made early. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Sept. 29th, 10 P.M. 

MY DEAREST WIFE: I am in the field now at the crossing 
of the Varina and New Market Roads, about seven miles 
from Richmond. You will see it on the map. If we are not 
attacked tonight I shall move forward tomorrow. I am well, 

dearest, and send much love. -r> -n T> 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Sept. 29, 1864, 11 P.M. 

GEN L. MEADE will attack at daylight in the morning. 
If the enemy have detached largely, he may be able to carry 
Petersburg; if so I can send two Corps, use railroad and 
steamers for the infantry. 

On account of this attack I want to remain through the 
day. I will go to Deep Bottom, however, to meet you, leaving 

here at 5 A.M. TT c ^ T , n 

IT. S. GRANT, Li. Gen. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. 30th, 1864, 9.55 A.M. 

Maj. Genl. BIRNEY, Comd g. 10th Corps 

THE exigency having arisen provided for in the instructions 
the junction of the two corps. Gen l. Paine s Division will 
report to Major Gen l. Weitzel, who has assumed command 
of the 18th Corps. 

General Birney will move his corps by the left, so as to 
connect with the right of General Weitzel at or near the 
prominent work taken by the 18 Corps from the enemy, now 
occupied by General Stannard s Division. His command will 
then man the line until it strikes the New Market road, and 
then at a proper point across that road he will refuse his right, 
throwing it over nearly parallel to the road as the capabilities 



196 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

of the ground may suggest. General Kautz, with his com 
mand now on the Darbytown road, will connect with General 
Birney, holding the most of his force with the right refused 
and picket so as to join pickets with the forces at Deep Bottom 
at or near the signal station at New Market. General Kautz 
will throw his pickets out on all practicable roads, so that no 
advance can be made by the enemy without timely notice, 
and if an advance is made it will be resisted firmly, and im 
mediate information given to General Birney and these Hd. 
Qrs. simultaneously. Both Generals Birney and Kautz will 
strengthen their lines by abatis, falling trees, and by such 
other means as their experience will suggest. It being our 
intention to hold our position as at present until other move 
ments of the enemy. 

It is suggested that the reveille should be at half past four 
in the morning. BENJ R BUTLER> Maj . Gen > L 



From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army of the James, Junction of the Varina and New Market Roads, 

In the Field, Sept. 30, 64 

M aj. Gen. WEITZEL, Comd g. 18th Army Corps 

COME up as far as you can. We shall have a very thin 
line to strike the New Market Road. Favor us as much as 
possible, and Birney will join Stannard s Division. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Junction of Varina & New Market Roads, 

in the Field, Sept. 30, 64 

Lieut. Gen. GRANT, Comd g., &c. 

A REFUGEE from Richmond who has been identified by one 
of my agents states that great excitement exists in Richmond, 
and that the people talk among themselves of endeavoring 
to have the authorities evacuate the city if possible. To the 
best of his knowledge and information no troops arrived in the 
city from Petersburg or otherwise up to 10 P.M. yesterday. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 197 



From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Junction of Varina & New Market Roads. 

In the Field, Sept. 30, 64 

Maj. STACKPOLE, Judge Advocate, FORT MONROE 
THE President has telegraphed me as follows: 

"Is there a man in your Dept. by the name of James Hallion under sentence, and 

if so what is the sentence and what for? 

A. LINCOLN, President 

Please answer this for me. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Junction of Varina & New Market Roads, Sept. 3Qth, 1864 

Quarter Master at BERMUDA HUNDREDS 

HAVE the Hd. Quarter s mail sent here at once upon its 
arrival. BENJ> R BuTLER? Ma j m Gen > L Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Junction of the Varina & New Market Roads. 

In the Field, Sept. 30th, 1864 

E. G. DAVIS, Master, FT. MONROE, VA. 

BEFORE your schooner goes we want to know what she 
was doing in the Warwick River, who let her go there, & for 
what purpose, and several other inquiries answered. 

Please show this telegram to the Prov. Mar. at Fort Monroe, 
and if he decides to clear the vessel I shall be willing. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Junction of Varina & New Market Roads. 

Sept. 30th, 1864 

Comd g. Officer, 6th Conn. Vols. 

RESTORE James A. Edwards to the ranks. Keep your eye 
on him and tell me how he behaves in action. If well, his 
absence without leave will be pardoned. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Sept. 30th, 1864, 11.30 A.M. 

Lt. Gen. U. S. GRANT, CITY POINT 

FROM an officer who is to take the oath of allegiance I 
receive the following information upon which I rely. 



198 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

That before me there is Heth, Wilcox, Field, and Hoke s 
Division. Pickett still at Bermuda. Early having Kershaw 
Rhodes (Early old) and Breckinridge s forces. Before Peters 
burg is Anderson s old Division, Mahone Comd g., and Bush- 
rod Johnson. Lee is commanding in person on the north 
side of the James. We shall be attacked in the morning, and 
we shall make the best fight we can, but it is respectfully 
suggested that the immediate movement of a division or two 
by rail to City Point and thence by boat to Aikens Landing 
is necessary. They have as many men as we have, with the 
advantage of being the attacking party. We shall be ready 
for them at daylight. Hoke s division has suffered so heavily 
that I don t think it will go in again. This information which 
I believe is reliable is submitted to the Lieut. Gen l. We 
have as the result of today s fighting 20 good prisoners, 18 
officers, two battle flags. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., in the Field, Sept. 30, 64, 12.30 P.M. 

Lieut. Gen. GRANT, Comd g., CITY POINT 

SINCE writing my despatch of 11.30 P.M. I have received 
yours of 11 P.M., saying that two divisions of Hill s Corps 
are before Petersburg. I don t think that can be. I have 
drawn all the available old men with the exception of two 
hundred men from Fort Powhatan and Pocahontas. Gen. 
Ord was notified at his Head Quarters to forward all the men 
in his camp today. I see no reason to alter my despatch of 
8.30 P.M. (11.30 A.M.?). I will put the officer upon his life as 
to the truth of his information before sending this despatch. 

P. S. I have examined this man upon his life, and he says 
he is willing to put it upon the question of all the Divisions I 
have named except Wilcox Division of Hill s Corps; to wit; 
Heth, Field, and Hoke. He believes strongly, from what he 
has heard, that Wilcox is here, but he says he does not know 
it. We have numbers of prisoners from Field and Hoke s 
Divisions, and all report Heth here. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 199 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Sept. 30, 1864 

HAS anything been heard of Kautz this morning? I begin 

to be some uneasy about him. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Junction of Varina & New Market Roads, 

Sept. 30th, 1864, 3 P.M. 

Lieut. Gen. GRANT, Comd g., &c. 

KAUTZ has returned, and is picketting on our right from 
the Darbytown road to New Market, and is holding the 
former road in force. He was not able to get through. 

The enemy here massed on Gen. Birney s left, which is about 
the centre of our line, nearly opposite the large fort which we 
took, and made a determined assault in three lines with a very 
heavy fire of Artillery, but were repulsed just now. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Sept. 30, 1864 

THE Navy having no torpedoes here, I have ordered your 
ordnance officer, Lt. Kress, to Ft. Monroe to fit up what you 
want. He will be able to get them ready to return to Aitkens 

Landing bv four P.M. tomorrow. TT c ^ T , n , 7 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen I. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Sept. 30, 1864 

INDICATIONS are that not more than 1 Div. of troops have 
been moved from Petersburg. Reconnoissance might be 
made towards the Charles City Road, & preparations made 
to move out that way in a day or 2 if thought advisable, 
breaking for the time connection with the river. I do not 
say this will be advisable, but get such information as you 
can about roads, &c. Meade has moved out south with 
2 divisions and sent 2 more further east to try & flank the 
enemy. 

As soon as anything is reported I will inform you. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen. 



200 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. 30th, 1864 

To the Corps Commanders 18th and 10th Army Corps 

You will see that reveille is sounded tomorrow morning at 
4 o clock, and that the men of your commands are supplied 
with coffee at that hour. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Grant 

CITY POINT, VA., September 30th, 1864, 5 P.M. 

Major Gen 1. H. W. HALLECK, WASHINGTON, D. C. 

GENERAL BUTLER reported at 3 P.M. that the enemy had 
just made an assault in three columns on his line near Chaffin s 
farm, and had been repulsed. No report from Meade since 
he carried the enemy s line near Poplar Spring Church. 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 42, Part I, Page 21. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Sept. 30th, 1864, 7.45 

Dr. McCoRMiCK, Medical Director, Gen l. BUTLER S Hd. Qrs. 
SEND a hospital boat to Deep Bottom. Keep a boat there 
until the wounded are all removed. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Sept. 3Qth, 1864, 7.50 P.M. 

Major MULFORD, FORT MONROE 

COME as far as Varina with your prisoners, and without 
making any attempt to communicate with the enemy report 
to me in person. BENJ R BuTLER? Ma ^ Gen L Comd g. 



From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Sept. 30, 1864 

GEN. WARREN carried the enemy s works beyond Sickamore 
Church handsomely, capturing a number of prisoners. He is 
now preparing for a further advance on the enemy. Be well 
on your guard to act defensively. If the enemy are forced 
from Petersburg they may push on to operate against you. 

U. S. GRANT 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 201 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army of James, Sept. 30th, 1864, 7.50 P.M. 

Lt. Genl. GRANT, CITY POINT 

THE telegraph now is within half a mile of my Head Quarters 
and nearer WeitzePs. We are making the best preparation 
we can for defence. We have repulsed the enemy in all his 
attacks with little loss on our side and heavy on theirs. We 
are much weaker than you suppose. I would be very glad of 
any reinforcements. The remainder of Field s Division 
three (3) brigades have crossed and are in our front with 
Hoke s Division. Heth was ordered to start, but I can hear 
nothing of him. The City local reserves are in our front, 
down to the clerks in the Naval Department known as the 
Naval Battalion, and the clerks in the express companies and 
the policemen. We have got now before us every thing there 
is. A few more men and we can push through the Darby town 
line unless Lee quits Petersburg. If he does, it is a question 
of legs which will get here first. I feel no doubt of being able 
to hold until you come. These assaults appear to be (directed) 
to the recapture of the big fort. It is evident that that cap 
ture troubles the enemy much, indeed the prisoners say they 
are told it shall be taken if it costs every man they have got. 
Be it so. So far as I am concerned, it shall not be taken 
except upon those terms. 

I congratulate you upon W r arren s success. I hope he 
has been successful in the attack we have just heard. I have 
no accurate map so I cannot appreciate the value of his success. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. 30th, 64 

Maj. Gen. BIRNEY, Comd g. 10 Corps 

CAN you send me ten or twelve men to guard prisoners 
here tonight? BENJ p BUTLER> Maj ^ Comd , g _ 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. 30, 64 

Maj. Genl. WEITZEL, Comd g. 18 A. C. 

PRISONERS taken report that they have been quite heavily 
reenforced, and that orders have been given to take the forts 
in your front at all hazards before sundown tomorrow. 



202 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

We know of their being reenforced by Hoke s Div. and three 
brigades of Field s Division, about 3500 men. Look out for 

tomorrow morning. ^ -r-o nr ^ >/ ^ j 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 1. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. 30, 64, 11 P.M. 

Maj. Gen. BIRNEY, Comd g. 10th Army Corps 

You will have to send me another officer and thirty men, 
as prisoners still keep coming in and I have actually no guard 
here. Please hurry the men forward. BENJ R 



From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Sept. 30, 64, 11 P.M. 

Maj. Gen. BIRNEY, Comd g. 10 Corps 

You will please at once order your commissary to prepare 
and send here immediately, reporting to my Prov. Mar. here, 
rations for one hundred and thirty men prisoners of war. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Army of the James, in the Field, Sept. 30th, 1864 

Col. MOORE, Comd g. ZQSrd Reg t Pa. Vols. 

BIRNEY S sharpshooters are hereby detailed to take com 
mand of the post of Deep Bottom and on the other side of 
4 mile creek. He will be responsible for picket, provost, and 
other duties, and will receive all recruits and report them to 
their proper commands, and forward them, if ordered by 
their commanding officers. He will see that no enlisted man 
passes the pontoon bridge from the post without a proper 
order or an orderly bearing despatches. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Sept. 3Qth, 64 

DEAREST: There is no letter from you this morning. But 
I see by the papers that there has been a successful movement 
from Deep Bottom and near Chapin s Farm. I think these 
places are in your command, and I think this is your move 
ment, the one you thought of making, that you wrote of in 
your letter that came yesterday. If so, you are looking 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 203 

toward Richmond. Ord was slightly wounded. There is 
no mention of you or Weitzel. The report is from General 
Grant. We shall hear more soon. 

It makes me very impatient to be here, though I might be 
of no use there. Yet I had rather be on the spot. I could 
go and leave them all to come after, but I know the arrange 
ments would not be so well, and then, when I found myself 
at the Fort, I should say, what a pity I did not wait and 
finish things properly. I give very little time, even to you, 
I am in such a hurry, these last few letters are scratched off 
in a very few minutes. They are not such as I wish to send 
you, but I cannot help it. Harriet has not been up today; 
she remains about the same. The children are well and very 
happy. It has rained here the last two days. That has 
given me more time. I shall not fill the other page. I know 
how full of care you are now. 

Most affectionately yours, dearest, SARAH 

I send this not that it contains anything, but that you 
may know there is nothing wrong here. If you are making 
that movement you will hardly have time to read this. 

From General Martindale to General Butler 

(First part of letter missing) 

I BELIEVE these successes are possible. I believe there 
is power at the North to terminate the struggle substantially 
before the first of January. 

The practical information which has been gained by two 
campaigns prosecuted to the gates of Richmond, affords the 
means of judging accurately as to what is to be done in the 
future. You and I know that if you had been provided with 
a force of 100,000 men on the 1st of May, in place of the 
heterogeneous composition of troops assigned to you, the 
rebellion would now be substantially at an end. I think 
the needed force may yet be got through power of the draft. 

It is true that resistance is threatened, but the men who 
threaten riot and mutiny do not disturb me. A little firm 
ness will dispose of them. And if you are going to finish up 
the war during the fall campaign, it seems proper that I 
should be present at the final act. 

And now, are you inclined to ascertain and inform me 
whether I can have command of a Corps? Who is to com 
mand the 19th? Who the 9th? Does old Ord accept your 



204 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

wishes? He expressed himself with too little hope, for me. 
The man who believes a desirable result impossible is not the 
one usually to advise it. Besides, I do not believe I shall be 
of any special service in the command of a division another 
will do as well. I am writing to you frankly, and in confidence. 

Should I take any public station in civil affairs, I could 
not enter upon it during the present year, and it would give 
me strength if, during a canvass, I should be in active and 
important service in the field. Please give this matter your 
attention and express yourself with entire frankness. 

Will there be any change in the command of the army of the 
Potomac? and if so, who is talked about as Meade s successor? 
I have an impression that Meade does not like to be under 
Grant s immediate tutelage, and I have thought, too, that 
Hancock has allowed visions of such a succession to flit before 
his mind. It is my belief that you and most general officers 
would accept Franklin in the event of a change with most 
confidence and friendly co-operation. What is needed is 
renewed strength got by needed confidence and co-operation, 
by reinforcements of men which will carry your force to 100,000, 
and mobilize the army of the Potomac with another 100,000; 
by repairing the existing organization most seriously impaired 
through deaths and removals of regimental officers. And 
these results, which are fully attainable within a brief period, 
would end the war before January. 

Please answer this letter speedily. Wishing success for 
you, and assuring you that you have great personal strength 
throughout the country, I am Truly your friend, 

J. H. MARTINDALE 



From Fisher A. Hildreth 

Oct. 1, 1864 

DEAR BUTLER: Am exceedingly glad that you have been 
thus far more successful than any one else in this great move 
ment. I hope & pray you may be the first into Richmond. 

Webster started from here (your old quarters at Bermuda) to 
go to you yesterday afternoon, but Col. Dodge says he has not 
been at your present quarters yet. He has probably stopped 
with somebody on the way as it rained soon after he started. 

Gen. Shepley is all right now. I may come over & see your 
field of operations, but will not bother you at this time. 

God bless & protect you. -p 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 205 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 1st, 1864, 7.15 

PRISONERS were yesterday taken from Anderson Brigade 
Field s Div. The presence of Wilcox s, Heth s, Mahone s & 
Johnson s Divisions was also shown about Petersburg. 

This shows that the enemy have divided Divisions & possibly 
Brigades to give the appearance of force at all points. 

TJ. S. GRANT, Li. Gen I. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army of the James, Oct. 1st, 1864 

ORDER 

ASST. SURGEON CHRISTIAL MILLER, of the 8th IT. S. Colored 
Troops, having been put in charge of the transportation of 
one hundred and fifty men, as he admits, wounded men, who 
had had nothing to eat all day, as he reports, left Deep Bottom 
on the boat without making preparation for their comfort, 
or providing for them food, and when reaching Bermuda 
Hundreds was found personally to be so intoxicated from, as 
he says, a grain and a half of morphine and half a gill of whiskey 
as to be unable to do his duty, is ordered to be and is hereby 
dismissed the service of the United States with the loss of all 
pay and allowances, subject to the approval of the President. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Oct. 1st, 1864 

GEN. KAUTZ, Commanding Cavalry Division 

I HAVE directed Gen. Birney, if the state of things in his 
front will justify it, to make a reconnoissance up the Darby- 
town Road. You will cooperate with him keeping a sharp 
lookout toward New Market. The cavalry force that was 
there has gone to Richmond. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Head Qrs. C. A. 1st, 6 A.M. 

ALL quiet so far. I have sent for Qr. N. H. & Gen l. Marston 
from Fort Pocahontas. Shall we see you today? I have 
ordered the "Greyhound" to report to you. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 



206 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, October 1st, 1864, 6.55 A.M. 

Lieut. Genl. GRANT, CITY POINT 

THE following despatch just received is forwarded for the 
information of the Lieut. Genl. Comd g. : 

Hd. Qrs. 10th A. C., October 1st, 1864 
Lt. Col. E. W. SMITH, A. A. Gen l., Gen l. BUTLER S Hd. Qrs. 

THE rebels have evacuated the small battery in front of my left and have gone 
apparently to the next redoubt toward my right. My picket line is being advanced. 

Respectfully, D. W. BIRNEY, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 
From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 1st, 7.20 A.M. 

Maj. Gen L BIRNEY, Comd g. IQth A. C. 

PLEASE date your despatches in future with the hour and 
minute of transmissal. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, October 1st, 1864, 7.20 A.M. 

Mr. O BRIEN, Telegraph Office 
RUN your cable to these Hd. Qrs. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, M aj. Gen L Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Maj. Gen l. BZBNEY Oct 1864 " A " 

UNLESS you know some movement of the enemy of which 
I am not informed which should vary the situation, you will 
please take two brigades of Terry s Division and make a 
reconnoissance in force up the Darbytown Road toward 
Richmond. You may be able to get through. I enclose an 
order to Gen. Kautz to cooperate with you if you move, of 
which please let me know. Also send you a report from Gen. 
Weitzel which will show that the enemy are looking for your 
right. That being so, Gen. Terry s Brigade may not be out 
of place on the Darbytown Road. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 207 

From General Butler to General Weitzel 

Oct. 1st, 8.45 A.M. 

I SEND for your information a direction for a movement of 
Genl. Birney. I will inform you as soon as movement is made. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Grant 

CITY POINT, VA., October 1, 1864, 10 A.M. 

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, WASHINGTON, D. C. 

THE enemy assaulted General Butler s line north of the 
James River three times yesterday afternoon, and were 
repulsed each time, General Butler reports, with heavy loss. 
Late in the evening Potter s division, Ninth Corps, whilst 
moving to get to the left of Warren, near Poplar Spring Church, 
was vigorously assaulted by a superior force and driven back 
until re-enforced by Griffin s division, when the enemy were 
checked, General Meade thinks, with heavy loss. Potter lost 
from his division a considerable number killed, wounded, and 
captured. The enemy are now threatening our left in con 
siderable force. Our line extends full two miles west of the 
Weldon railroad with the left turned back. The troops 
intrenched themselves during the night. 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 42, Part I, Page 21. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 1st, 1864, 4.20 P.M. 

Col. PENNIPACKER, Comd g. U Brig. U Div. 10th A. C. 

As soon as everything is quiet in your front, and you can 
get away without danger to your command, report to these 

Hd Qrs * BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 1864, 7.20 P.M. 

YOUR despatch reporting the enemy throwing up signal 
lights just rec d. I cannot conceive the object. The enemy 
will bear watching. ^ g> GRANT> LL 



208 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Birney 

Ed. Qrs. 10 A. C., Oct. 1st, 1864, 7.30 P.M. 

Lt. Col. E. W. SMITH, A. A. G. Army of James 

COLONEL: General Terry is on his way back. He drove the 
enemy s skirmishes into their works, found them apparently 
heavily manned. The expedition on Charles City road ad 
vanced also up to the works within two miles of city. 

Our casualties will not exceed thirty. The movement 
created the greatest excitement and movement of troops. 

The enemy s pickets were driven in with greatest celerity. 

D. B. BIRNEY, Maj. Gen. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, October 1st, 1864, 8.55 P.M. 

Lt. Gen l. GRANT, CITY POINT 

I HAVE received no official report of the reconnoissance. 
Lieut. Michie who was with it has returned. General Terry 
penetrated as far as the entrenchments on the Darbytown 
Road without opposition. General Kautz crossed the Charles 
City Road without opposition as far as the line of fortifi 
cations, which he found held in considerable force, but not 
large force of infantry. General Kautz crossed the Charles 
City Road, and exchanged shots with the enemy at a point 
in the fortifications where they crossed that road. 

General Birney advanced his pickets along the New Market 
Road and drove their skirmishers into their works, capturing 
some prisoners who were all of local defence battalions. I 
have seen one or two of them. All is quiet. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 9 1. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, VA., Oct. 1st, 1864, 11 P.M. 

I THINK it will be advisable to select a line which can be 
held with one of your corps as now composed, giving you an 
outlet at Deep Bottom or Aikens . The other corps could 
be kept on the north side as well as elsewhere, but held ready 
for any emergency. The line now held seems to me would 
always expose you to a flank or rear attack, and would cause 
the enemy to prepare so that no surprise on that side could 
again be made. The strong works about Chapin s farm 
should be held, or levelled however. Sheridan for want of 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 209 

supplies if there should be no other reason will be forced 
to fall back. The enemy may take advantage of such occasion 
to bring the remnant of Early s force here, relying upon his 
ability to get it back to the valley before Sheridan could fit 
up and return; in such case he could fall upon either flank 
as now exposed and inflict great damage. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen l. 



From General Butler to General Grant 

Head Qrs. Junction of Varina & New Market Roads, Oct. 1st, 11.55 

WILL prepare to take up such line as you propose tomorrow. 
As Gen. Barnard and Col. Comstock have been over the 
ground as well as yourself, please advise me what line to take 
as to its extent and advanced posts. Of course it must be 
a much shorter one than the present. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Oct. 1, 1864, Friday evening 

DEAREST: I am very tired, but will write again today. 
Only a little word or two. Tomorrow I cannot, as I expect to 
run all day over Boston. And then comes Sunday. You 
think I do not write every day. It seems to me hardly a day 
has passed that I have not written, and that too when it 
seemed that I could not get one moment from the calls and 
claims of others. If you knew how irritated I have some 
times felt that I could get no more time, you would wonder 
at the perseverance I have shown in writing so much. But 
I am not satisfied with them, neither in length or form of 
expression. They do not express me. Only the routine I 
must daily go through. So I fancy it is with you, you 
have not much time or thought for anything but the pressing 
demands that are hourly made. You snatch up the pen and 
hastily write out a few lines, a word or two of affection, and 
that is passed till the hour conies round again. But they are 
just as welcome to me. I know very well how your life goes, 
and can read much from little. Your two last letters are 
longer and more descriptive. I read your account of the 
negro charge to Dr. Kimball, and their dead bodies scattered 
over the field. Mrs. Kimball and Johnny are firm and un 
wavering admirers of yours. Mrs. Kimball wants your 

VOL. V 14 



210 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

autograph and photograph for a friend in Scotland. Inter 
rupted again and the whole evening gone! 

Well, I shall be nearer soon, with a better chance to collect 
my thoughts. I tell you, dearest, I do not allow myself to 
think long on any subject. Those that present themselves 
just at the present hour are not agreeable to dwell upon 
Harriet s sickness, your exposure, the breaking up of home, 
etc. But I shall believe that you think much of me, and so go 
on as gaily as I can. The children are well and lively. I write 
this with the gas lighted on the opposite side of the room. 

As ever, Most truly yours, SARAH 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 2, 1864 

IF you desire an engineer officer to report either to yourself 
or one of your corps Comdrs. for the present occasion, I can 
send either Comstock or Babcock. Please answer. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. GerCl. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, 12.30 A.M., October 2d, 1864 

I WILL send Barnard & Comstock up in the morning, but 
do not let this make any difference in your plans for the morrow. 
Gen. Meade will feel in the morning to ascertain what is in 
his front at different points in his line, & if there is chance for 
an attack on his left he will make it. His main object in 
feeling at different points in his front will be to ascertain 
whether the enemy has stripped any portion of its line. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen. 

From General Butler 

CIPHER. Ed. Qrs. Army James, 9.45 A.M., Oct. 2d, 1864 

Lieut. Genl. GRANT, CITY POINT 

UPON consultation with Generals Birney and Weitzel, we 
are of opinion from what we learn from the reconnoissance 
of yesterday that we can go in with one corps and certainly 
with both by the Darbytown Road and Charles City Road. 
There are no troops there except the militia, composed of the 
employees of the several Departments of the Government, 
and as we made two reconnoissances in that neighborhood 
which are supposed by them to be cavalry reconnoissance 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 211 

only, their attention will be drawn from that place, especially 
if as you believe Lee looks upon this as the first and real 
attack to be made on the south side. My judgment is that 
this plan is more hopeful than any other, especially in view 
of the several attempts that have been made by the Army of 
the Potomac to turn the right and the want of successful 
accomplishment. To do this, we ought to have a Corps sent 
to take our place behind our skirmish line on the line we now 
hold, while we advance. A Corps can then hold that line, 
they marching in with the light of our fires and we marching 
out. I am very strongly of opinion that this plan would 
succeed from the investigations I have made, and I trust the 
Lieut. General has confidence enough in my means of obtain 
ing information that I am not deceived as to the facts. As 
the corps would not be expected to advance one step after 
they get their place, and as it is only about ten (10) miles 
directly from Petersburg to the left of our line here, they 
might make the march in the early night so as to let us out 
by two (2) o clock in the morning, which would be sufficiently 
early. 

I have examined carefully the proposition of the Lieut. 
Gen l. as to taking up a line to hold here with a single corps, 
and I find it very difficult in view r of the possible return of 
Early to find a tenable line that would have any advantage 
over our line at Deep Bottom and Dutch Gap. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Birney 

11.15 o clock A.M., Hd. Qrs. 10th A. C. Before RICHMOND, Oct. 2nd, 

Lt. Col. E. W. SMITH, A. A. G. Army of the James 

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that the reconnois- 
sance ordered has started for the Darby Road. I have made 
such dispositions of troops as will in my opinion hold our 
present line, which has been made very strong during the 
night. 

I will personally superintend the movement as it advances. 
Yours respectfully, D. B. BIRNEY, M. G. 

From General Birney to General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. in Field, Oct. 2nd, 1864, 11.35 

THE attack on my skirmish line has been repulsed. The 
prisoners are from Picketts Div., and left the Bluff last night. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

They report that a large force is advancing down the New 
Market road, forces from Beauregard and Ewell under Gen. 

D. B. BIRNEY, M. G. 
From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Oct. 2nd, 1864, 1.10 P.M. 

Maj. Gen. BIRNEY, Comd g. 10 A. C. 

DESPATCH received. If the enemy run your flank, refuse 
your right down towards the New Market Road, keeping 
Kautz well out on their flank, and so move as they move, 
shortening the line between the New Market and Kingsland 
Roads if it becomes necessary. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Oct. 2, 64, Sunday 

DEAREST: Amid all the cares of sickness, dress-making, 
packing, and the many unmentionable duties that constantly 
arise, my thoughts still turn to you. What you are doing; 
what success you will meet with; what danger you may be 
exposed to. We do not know precisely where your forces 
are. Kautz has been within a mile and a half of Richmond. 
But there is not yet I think much expectation here, that we 
shall take it. I cannot help but be dissatisfied that we are 
still here. Yet must stay this week, or leave things unfinished. 
It does seem as though I never should get the house ready to 
close, the trunks packed, and the family started. Harriet is 
no better, she can do nothing to aid but of course requires 
attention. When we leave she will go to Mrs. Read s until 
she is better. And will then go on with Fisher or Webster 
whenever she is able. Johnny Kimball and his father have 
been here several times lately. Both are desirous that John 
should go out again. You know best if you want him. He 
aims at a place on the staff; you have several of his calibre, 
and I think he is very well-behaved, and a devout admirer of 
yours, but I have always urged for superior men, and do so 
still. If they cannot be had, he is as good as the average. 
You do not say anything about Hixon. I suppose have no 
place for him. The wardrobe is sent home; it fits the place 
admirably. If ever you return here to live, you will be pleased 
with its convenience; it is very nicely arranged for a gentle 
man s wardrobe. As you are now engaged, full of action and 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

excitement, I do not fancy my letters will have much interest. 
My interest runs toward what you are doing. I cannot think 
yours will be much excited with anything very remote. 
Yesterday I went to Boston again with Blanche. Went down 
in the morning, back at evening. We were walking the whole 
day through. You can imagine our fatigue. The leaves are 
changing. Autumn has almost her brightest robes. Today 
the rain is pouring. The wind sweeps the trees, they bend, 
twist, and sigh, and scatter their leaves abroad. Tomorrow 
I must begin to pack the trunks in order to know what I must 
really take; and if more trunks are wanted. 

Mrs. Richardson has given Blanche a pressing invitation 
to remain till November for the Sailors Fair at Boston, and 
take charge of a table. If the people were as curious to stare 
at her as they were yesterday it might be worth while. You 
seem to think I am tired of writing. Do not believe it. But 
I should not find time to do much more than I am now doing; 
this week I must say I look at with dread. With all the 
final calls to make, and the thousand and one things to re 
member. But it will go by, and I shall be on the road to join 
you somewhere, at Richmond I hope, but do not expect. 
Wherever it may be, I shall think you will be glad to see us. 

Yours very truly, SARAH 

From General Grant 

CITY POINT, VA., October 2, 1864, 8.30 P.M. 

Major-General HALLECK, WASHINGTON 

GENERAL BUTLER, on the right of the James, and General 
Meade, southwest of Petersburg, occupy the same position as 
yesterday. There has been very little fighting to-day; a 
few prisoners, however, have been captured. General Butler 
reports having last evening sent two brigades of infantry, 
with a little cavalry, within a few hundred yards of the inner 
line of works east of Richmond, meeting with no opposition. 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 42, Part I, Page 22. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Head Qrs., Oct. 3rd, 1864, 11.30 A.M. 

ALL quiet during night. An attempt was made on Kautz s 
and Birney s pickets on the Darbytown & New Market Roads 
last evening, which was easily repulsed and by Birney with 



214 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

the capture of 17 prisoners. Lt. Michie is at work on the 
new line with one thousand colored troops. Will you tele 
graph to the Secretary of War for a brevet major for Michie 
in his corps? I wish him as my chief engineer. If gallant, 
unwearied, and most meritorious services are ever deserving, 
they are in his case; also an order that he be put on duty 
in his brevet rank. I have set Ludlow s extra men at Dutch 
Gap at work on the redoubt on Signal Hill near him. 

Four regiments of Pickett s Division are over here from the 
Bermuda lines between Appomattox & James. Leaving about 
twenty-five hundred men there. I believe I could break 
through on the left with three thousand negroes. Can we 
not have the other corps here? 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 9 1. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, VA., Oct. 3rd, 1864 

A DESPATCH is just received from Sheridan up to the first 
(1st) inst. The enemy have entirely left his front and come 
to Charlottsville & Gordons ville. He cannot reach them, 
so that we may now confidently expect the return here of at 
least Kershaw s Division and Rosser s Cavalry. It will 
require very close watching to prevent being surprised by this 
reinforcement. I will have forty thousand (40,000) reinforce- 
ments here in ten (10) days. ^ g GRANT> 



From General Butler to General Grant 

Ed. Qrs., Oct. 3rd, 1864, 7.30 P.M. 

DESPATCH relating to Sheridan received. Will watch 
with the utmost vigilance. Can we not have the 19th Corps? 
All quiet tonight. BENJ p BUTLER; Maj 



From the Secretary of War to General Butler 

CIPHER. WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 1864 

I HAVE directed Adjt. Gen l. Thomas to bring up five thou 
sand negro troops from Kentucky, who are said to be superior 
to any others that he has organized in the south, & to take 
them to your command. He leaves Washington for that 
purpose today, & has orders to hasten them forward with all 

des P atch E. M. STANTON, Sec y of War 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 215 

From General Butler 

Oct. 3rd, 1864, Head Qrs. Army of the James, near junction of 
Varina & New Market Roads 7.45 P.M. 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

DESPATCH relative to the negro troops received. I told you 
they would do well in my Department. My colored troops 
under Gen. Paine, twenty-five hundred strong, carried in- 
trenchments at the point of the bayonet that in a former 
movement across the river stopped double their number. 
It was most gallantly done with most severe loss. Their 
praises are in the mouth of every officer in this Army. Treated 
fairly and disciplined they have fought most heroically. 

I have received a letter from Capt. Smith of the Navy 
proposing to Ould an exchange of Naval prisoners "inde 
pendently of our commissioner." There have been many 
negroes captured from the Navy who are thus abandoned 
to their fate. Is it not possible for the Government to have 
a policy? If Sherman exchanges at Atlanta, if Foster at 
Charleston, if (Banks) at New Orleans, and Rosecrans in 
Missouri, then I do not see why we should not exchange here. 
Our soldiers will not be too well pleased to hear that sailors 
can and soldiers cannot be exchanged. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From the Secretary of War to General Butler 

WASHN. D. C. 7 P.M., Oct. 5, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

YOUR telegram of yesterday was my first information of 
the contemplated exchange of Naval prisoners. 

On inquiry it appears that there has been direct communica 
tion by the Sec y of the Navy with Mr. Mallory, & an arrange 
ment for exchange between them. This was unknown to the 
President & myself until today. He has directed the ex 
change to be adverted, & directed the correspondence to be 
forwarded to Gen. Grant with authority to stop the proceeding 
or let it go on under your supervision, & in accordance with 
the principles before maintained in your correspondence with 
Mr. Ould, according as Gen l. Grant may think proper. The 
papers go by mail. _ ^ ^^i,, Sec y of War 



216 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Near Varina, Oct. 6th t 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Capt. SMITH, Senior Naval Officer Commanding forces 

on the James 

SIR: Will you do me the favor to say what is the state of 
attempted exchange of Naval prisoners? State whether you 
have had any and what communication with Ould on the 
subject. These inquiries are rendered necessary by the tele 
gram from the War Dept. 

Yours Truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 3rd, 1864 

IF all remains quiet I shall go to Washington tomorrow. 
I send you copy of despatch to Gen l. Meade which explains 
what I want done. As much of present position north of the 
James as can be held, I want held. Please telegraph me the 
situation of affairs daily. I wrote a letter to Gen l. Lee in 
reply to one from him which has not yet been answered. 
Should this or any other communication come from inside 
the rebel lines directed to me in my absence, direct it to be 
received and sent to you. You will be at liberty to open any 
such communication, and if immediate action is required to 
act. I would prefer, however, my absence should not be 

known across the lines. TT c T . , 7 

U. S. GRANT, Li. Gen I. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CIPHER. CITY POINT, Oct. 3, 1864 

I SHALL go to Washington tomorrow & see if I cannot 
devise some means of getting promptly into the field the large 
numbers of recruits that I understand are now in depots 
all over the north will be gone three or four days. In my 
absence would like to have present lines held if possible, but 
if necessity requires it all or as much as is necessary west of 
the Weldon road may be abandoned. One corps or as many 
troops as possible from the Army of the James will be held 
foot-loose to operate on the defensive at any place. Maj. 
Gen l. Butler, the Senior Officer present, will command during 

absence U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen l. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 217 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 3rd, 1864 

YOUR despatch received. Send me a list of all the pro 
motions by brevet & otherwise you would like made from 
your command, stating the particular services for which 
brevets are asked, and I will take pleasure in recommending 
them. Gen. Sherman is preparing such a (list) from his 
army, and Gen. Meade has already sent one from his. In 
the matter of breaking the enemy s lines as suggested by you 
I think it practicable, but think that will keep. To bring 
any troops from the left a good long line now held must be 

abandoned. TT ^ T , ^ , 7 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen I. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Head Qrs. near Junction of New Market and Varina Roads, Oct. 3, 1864, 10.5 P.M. 

DESPATCH received. Will send forward a list of deserving 
officers. We will hold where we are. Will keep you advised 
daily, and oftener if anything happens of interest. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 3d, 1864, 10.10 P.M. 

THE 19th will come here. TT c ~ T , ri ,, 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen I. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Oct. 3d, 1864, Monday 

DEAREST: The morning news leaves me all excitement. 
How I detest the petty details that keep me here ! There is an 
appearance of success for us. I do not by any means feel sure 
you will win, but there is a hope for it. And I want to be 
where I can have the quickest news. But patience, patience, 
is the lesson to learn. I shall have it complete in time. 

You are too busy to read much, nor have I anything to com 
municate but wishes for your success. 

Yours, dearest, as ever, SARAH 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Head q rs. Near Junction of New Market and Varina Roads, October 4, 1864, 5.30 A.M. 

MY DEAREST SARAH: In my last, as I skipped a day yester 
day, having lain abed until too late for the mail, I gave you 



218 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

some description of my camp, and was interrupted by an 
artillery attack just as I was getting through. It proved to 
be nothing, and I am just where I was, nothing having been 
done since. My health is very good, specially considering 
the exposure, as the rain has poured here every day since we 
came up, and is now pattering on the tent. I move my camp 
today some distance back to an oak grove, as I am uncom 
fortably situated near a swamp which has already given young 
Clark the chills, and besides, in case of an attack, the place 
would be a landing for all the chance shells. 

Fisher was here yesterday and starts for home tomorrow. 
Webster was here the day before. I am much grieved to 
hear that Harriet is no better but rather worse; alas, poor 
lady, I fear she will never be any better, and that I shall 
never see her again, but still have a lingering hope. Tell 
Blanche I am waiting for that "ladylike" letter I was to 
have, although her last was very pretty. Two days have 
passed without a letter, one was Sunday, that was fair, as 
the mail does not run, but what of the other? You be cooped 
up here in a swamp in the rain in a little tent, with hardly a 
person to speak to, and have a dear little wife at home, all 
cosy and snug, and some boys and a bouncing girl, and none 
of them write to you, and you would be glum, I reckon. How 
ever, Miss Sally, I have somebody to write to me, and I won t 
let you see the letter. Yes, but I will, though, to make you 
die of envy and jealousy. "Fanny Fern writes for the Ledger 9 
and for me. Read it and say if it isn t a pretty letter. "Fas 
cinating think of that Master Brooks." Tell Benny that 
after all I think he had better not take her tale for a model. 
Grant has gone to Washington and left me in command of 
the Army here, and I am therefore more than usually busy. 

I have had very bad luck you see. While it is acknowledged 
that I planned and carried out the movement, owing to what 
I believe to be an inadvertence of Grant s staff officer, I was 
not mentioned in the official despatch. Just my luck. Such 
is fame, to be killed by a bullet and have your name misspelled 
in a despatch. Y(mrs ^ ^^ BENJ 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 219 

From General Butler 

In the Field, Head Qrs. Junction of Varina and New Market Roads, October th, 1864 

ROBERT OULD, Esq., Commissioner of Exchange 

SIR: Maj. Mulford, my assistant agent of exchange, has at 
Varina about seven hundred invalid prisoners for delivery. 
For obvious reasons they cannot be received by you there, 
and in the present state of the roads it would be cruel to 
transport them far by wagons. I would suggest that they be 
delivered at Port Walthall, at the same point where it is 
proposed to deliver the Naval prisoners. If so, the prisoners 
will be delivered there at any hour you may name. We will 
also receive yours at the same point. Or if you prefer we 
will deliver at same point on the New Market Roads between 
the pickets. Respectfully, 

Your Obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

In the Field, Head Qrs. Junction of Varina & New Market Roads, Oct. 4th, 1864 

ROBERT OULD, Esq., Commissioner of Exchange 

I AM informed that certain prisoners of war are now em 
ployed at labor in making army materials for your forces. 
It is so published without contradiction in two Richmond 
journals. If this be so, the practice must cease. This Govern 
ment has never employed prisoners of war in any other work 
than that which contributed to their own comfort and con 
venience. If this fact is not either officially denied or as 
surances given that it will be stopped by your authorities, 
I shall be compelled to employ an equal or greater number of 
your men prisoners in my hands in the manner judged by me 
most advantageous to my army as you have done with ours. 
I have the honor to be very respectfully, 

Your Obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. GenL Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Army of the James, Oct. 4th, 1864 

Maj. Gen. BIRNEY, Commanding, &c. 

I AM about to move my Head Qrs. to near the Fraser House 
in rear of the 18th Corps Hospital. I leave the telegraph 
line to connect with you here, as my Head Qrs. will be outside 



220 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

of every body s pickets. If I get gobbled, you will have 
command. My staff have selected the position. I must be 
in that neighborhood, however. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 9 l. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Head Qrs. near Varina, Oct. 4th, 1864 

TELEGRAM received. All quiet in my lines. Have moved 
my Head Qrs. to near Varina. Have a good wharf at Varina 
to land horses. Should be pleased to have you ride up & 
visit us. Can show you a new Rebel line, which shows we 
were not a moment too soon. Ought we not to make that 
move before Early gets up? 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 4, 1864 

I WILL be up to see you in the morning. The difficulty of 
holding more than we now have, I think, should keep us from 
further offensive operations, until we get more men. We 
will have at least thirty thousand (30,000) additional veteran 
troops in the next ten days, besides all the new troops that 

may come U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen l. 

From General Butler 

Army of the James, Head Qrs. in the Field, near Varina, Oct. 4th, 1864 

Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance 

PLEASE send me five hundred Spencer or Ames, with 100 
rounds of ammunition for driving cavalry. They are needed 
at once. Send direct to Bermuda. Requisitions will go by 
mail. Answer by telegraph, Say how soon I can have them 
and by what boat, so that I can order them here at once. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 4th, 1864, 6.20 P.M. 

Col. R. C. WEBSTER, Chief Q. M., FORT MONROE 

You will send every boat that you have got to Washington 
which you can possibly spare, to carry troops. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 221 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 4th, 1864, 6.20 P.M. 

Col. DODGE, Chief Quartermaster, BERMUDA 

SEND every boat that you have got that can possibly be 
spared, except the "Greyhound," to Washington that can 
carry troops. BENJ R BUTLER, Maj. Gen l Comd g. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Oct. 4, 64 

DEAREST: I can only write a word, for I have not time. I 
am in that state of nervous irritation that I cannot endure to 
think on one thing for five minutes. 

Up to the last we heard you were still successful. Of course, 
over Sunday we know nothing. Tomorrow morning there will 
be something definite. It is not your movements alone that 
make me nervous. I am harassed by matters here. But that is 
no matter. A little more time and I shall be through with it. 

The family are well. Harriet is about the same. I am 
now going out to make calls as one of the last duties and most 
wearisome. 

May you be successful and may I be there to see. 

Yours most affectionately, SARAH 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

in the Field near Varina, Oct. 5, 1864 

MY DEAREST SARAH : It is too bad the third night and no 
letter. I have not heard from you since the 30th. My 
headqrs. are moved again. I have got out of my swamp, and 
am now on a hill near a little cottage which I occupy for offices 
- in a beautiful vale opening on a little plain or table land about 
a mile from the James. How long we shall stay here I do not 
know, but hope not long. We are getting on as well as we can. 
I fear for the delay; it is against my judgment, but Grant is 
waiting for reinforcements. I would proceed at once. 

How are you getting on? Give my love to Harriet ask 
her from me how she is, and tell her I hope much to hear her 
health has mended. Tell Blanche to write me. I haven t 
much time to answer, but will try. I like to get her letters. 
Was much pleased the other day when I got one in the very 
midst of the battle. It seemed like a gleam of sunshine in 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

s.torm. As for yourself, I have given you up as incorrigible. 
You will not write, that is evident. So I will write you such 
long letters that you will wish you had written. When do 
you come down? If you are otherwise ready, I do not believe 
from what Fisher says that it is worth while waiting for Harriet, 
for I do not believe she will be able to bear the journey. But, 
however, do not come if by waiting you can do her any good, 
as I do not mean to be selfish. You see, the election at present 
appearances will almost go by on the part of the Democrats. 
If we can succeed here, we will bring the whole matter to 
a determination at once. Banks has come back from the 
department of the Gulf, and I do not believe will return 
unless he expects to be elected Senator. In the view of almost 
all men he has entirely played out down there. 

The mail goes now and so goodby. Love to Paul and Ben- 
nie. Tell them how much their father loves them, and hopes 
for them that they will be good and great men, and never do 

a mean thing. , r ^ 

Yours, BENJ. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Oct. (5tK), (1864) 

DEAREST: There has been a frightful rumor in the papers 
that you were shot. I have waited all the forenoon with a 
vague terror that I might get a despatch confirming it. Now 
I hardly dare sit down to write for fear I shall hear the bell 
pull before I have finished writing. It is noon, and if Webster 
is alive I ought to have word from him if anything has befallen 
by this time. Whether wounded or whatever misfortune, I 
do not believe it, still I cannot go to work or fix my mind on 
any of the business I have to do. Let me beg of you not to 
expose yourself, as you have done at times. By the horror I 
have felt this morning I know too well the calamity it would 
be, not alone to your family but to the country. There are 
few minds that equal yours, none in my mind that can do 
such service for the general good. 

Do not unwisely expose yourself for mere bravado, or 
rather for the purpose of exciting the enthusiasm of the soldiers. 
The object is inferior to the risk of a life like yours. Heaven 
knows where this letter will go to; I write in doubt, but still 
believing you are safe. I shall know by evening. Yours, as 

ever, dearest, -., 7 

Most truly, SARAH 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 223 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 5th, 1864, 6 P.M. 

Maj. Genl. WEITZEL, Comd g. 18th A. C. 

BRIG. GEN L. PAINE, Comd g. 3rd Div. 18th Corps, will 
forward me forthwith a list of vacancies in the officers of his 
command, and also such men as by their conduct he thinks 
worthy of promotion. He has mentioned several sergeants 
& sergeants majors Comd g Companies. Are these sergeants 
white or black? RENJ R BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 5th, 1864, 6 P.M. 

Maj. Genl. BIRNEY, Comd g 10/fc A. C. 

SEND list of vacancies in your colored troops. Also names 
of meritorious officers and men who ought to be promoted in 
your whole command or worthy of mention. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 5th, 1864 

Maj. Gen l. WEITZEL, Comd g ISth A. C. 

HAVE you any Cols, in your command who ought to be 
bre vetted to command brigades for gallant services? 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Oct. 5th, 1864 

DEAREST: The day is over. After these long hours of 
suspense the evening papers say the "rumour is unfounded." 
I did not believe the report (that you were shot), but I feared 
you were wounded, and I have lost the day. To go about 
the usual hurrying work, I could not do it, through the day 
I have thought there might come a despatch that would take 
me to Fortress Monroe, leaving all behind. Now I am re 
lieved but tired to death. Yet no one would think I had 
been much moved. No calamity will ever force me to make 
much outcry. I only know by the relief I feel how much I 
have been disturbed. Pray be cautious, not cowardly so, 
but as becomes a man who holds your position. Our lives do 
not belong wholly to ourselves. If you had been killed, your 



224 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

suffering would be light compared to the agony of those you 
would leave. Remember this, and when you say that life 
has no charm to a man past forty-five, do not forget "that 
Heaven doth with us as we with torches do ; not light them for 
themselves." I could write further, but I will not tonight. 
I am thankful but weary, and still must gather up my neglected 
work and prepare for leaving. Oh, dearest, you seem very 
far away. But never mind, I shall lessen the distance shortly. 
The children are well, wanting very much to see you. Good 
night, dearest, I wish I was with you tonight. I should feel 
less anxiety. I think you are where you would not care to 

Yours most truly and affectionately, SARAH 
From D. W. C. Farrington 

NORFOLK, VA., October 6th, 1864 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Dept. Va. and N.C. 

GENERAL: Having returned from New York and closed 
my first cotton transaction, which I regret to say was not 
a profitable one, I respectfully beg leave to give you my 
experience, and to suggest some alterations in my instructions. 

1st: I have learned that cotton at a forced sale brings from 
15 & 20 cents pr. pound less than the market quotations in 
such unsettled times as these, and I should therefore advise 
sales by a responsible Broker. 

2nd: Most cotton coming into this place is in bad order, 
from exposure to the weather, being damp and in torn and 
rotten wrappers. This gives it an unmerchantable appear 
ance which, of course, operates against a fair price at auction. 

Finally, Buying cotton in this market, with its accom 
panying disadvantages, at fths of its value in New York 
according to quotations, on a falling market, is extra hazardous, 
particularly while you and Gen l. Sheridan are gaming such 
glorious victories as you have during the past ten days ! 

Since my return from New York, I have bought 36 bales 
and although the papers quote middling @ $1.20, I have 
paid but 75 cents, and less, for lower grades, which seems to 
me to be perfectly safe. I engaged the services of an ex 
perienced cotton broker in New York, who has been here 
the past few days, giving me much information in sampling 
and classifying cotton, a thing which has been of great 
service to me. There are now between 200 and 300 bales in 
town, which the owners have reported to me, but which is 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 225 

being held by them for a rise, or perhaps, in hopes that they 
may get permits to ship it. As the present regulations of 
the Treasury Department will, in my opinion, tend to prevent 
parties from bringing in cotton, I beg leave, General, to make 
the following suggestions, and ask if I may be allowed to 
follow any of them. First: If a lot of cotton is offered for 
sale, and I duly appraise its auction, or real value, in New 
York, may the owner (should he desire to do so) ship it, on 
his own account, by paying me 25 % of my official valuation? 
An operation which would be necessarily safe and advantageous 
for the Treasury Department. 

Second: May I receive and ship cotton to New York, 
selling it by a broker or by auction as I may judge best, - 
and pay the owner fths of the net proceeds, holding the re 
maining |th thereof for the Treasury? 

Third: Would not your New Orleans plan prove advan 
tageous in Norfolk? That is, might not all the cotton coming 
within the lines, at the place, be sold at auction here as soon 
as convenient after its arrival, allowing the owner, the Govt. 
Agent, or any party who proves the highest bidder, to pur 
chase it, and after deducting all expenses and such per cent 
for special cotton-tax as you or the Treasury Department 
may see fit to designate, paying the balance to the owner, and 
permitting the purchaser to ship, as usual, to any Northern 
port? Now, General, if you see best to allow me to adopt 
either of the above plans, or the seller to choose either of 
them, will you please write me, when convenient, and also give 
me any orders which may occur to you in addition? 

Otherwise, I will go on, as heretofore, and do my best; but 
if, as your late successes render probable, I should receive an 
order from you dated at "Richmond" sometime when I have 
a lot of cotton on hand, your change of location might seriously 
affect its New York value! I have the honor, to be, very 
respectfully, j^ ^ Sermnt ^ D w c F ARRINGTON 



From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 6th, 1864, 9.55 A.M. 

Brig. Gen 1. RUFUS INGALLS, Chief Quartermaster, 

CITY POINT, VA. 

THE first Maryland Cavalry are ordered down after their 
horses now and I suppose are on the road for them. We 
have been delayed a little in getting arms before we mount 

VOL. V 15 



226 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

them. Please keep the horses, as the cavalry will be there 

today or tomorrow. ^ T^T> n/r r\ ? ^ 7 

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

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 6th, 1864, 9.55 A.M. 

Col. DODGE, Chief Quartermaster, BERMUDA 

GET horses for the 1st Md. Cavalry over to Bermuda if 
they are not there already. Notify me as soon as they come 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 
From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Oct. 6th, 1864, 10 A.M. 

Maj. Genl. BIRNEY, Comd g. 10th A. C. 

HAS the 1st Md. Cavalry reported to General Kautz? 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 6th, 1864, 10 A.M. 

Maj. Genl. BIRNEY, Comd g. 10 A. C. 

PLEASE confer with your Medical Director upon the prac 
ticability of organizing your ambulance train as a corps train 
and not as a division train. By it many men and many 
horses may be saved. The 18th Corps is so organized. I 
should like to hear your views upon the subject if you differ 

with me in opinion. T, ^ ^ ^ f . , 7 ~ 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comdg. 

From General Birney to General Butler 

BY TELEGRAPH /row 10 A. C., Oct. (6?), 1864 

MY ambulance train is organized and corps train strictly 
under the law and under control of medical director. During 
the campaign or march a small number is sent with each 
division, but the corps ambulance officer has entire charge. 
A surg. that acted before Dr. Smith was appointed gave 
much trouble in the matter, but it is working smooth, and I 
think will not be interfered with until I can give it necessary 
farther explanations. 1st Md. Cavalry reported same night. 
Order was received to Gen. Kautz. D B 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 227 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, October 6th, 1864, 10.15 A.M. 

Brig. Genl. GRAHAM, Comd g. Army Gunboats, 

POINT OF ROCKS 

MAJ. GEN L. BIRNEY has applied for you to take charge of 
one of his divisions. I should be glad to consent did I know 
how to spare you from charge of the Army gunboats. If you 
would be willing to keep a general oversight of them in connec 
tion with your command I should be happy to make the 
assignment, as you know that I have no one in whom I have 
more confidence either on land or afloat. Please answer by 
telegraph. BENJ R BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 6th, 1864, 2.40 P.M. 

Provost Marshal, CITY POINT 

HAVE any separate companies from New Hampshire arrived 
at City Point lately? If so, how many and what has been 

done with them? -n -D ** n *i n j> 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, October 6th, 1864, 2.50 P.M. 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Sec. of War, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

I UNDERSTAND that there are six (6) companies of heavy 
artillery belonging to an unfilled regt. of New Hampshire 
Vols. somewhere near Washington. As artillerists they must 
be nearly or quite useless. Can they not be sent to me in 
my skeleton New Hampshire regiments, and teach them the 
first duty of the artillery soldier, the use of the musket, in a 

short time? -n T> n* n >/ n ^ 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 1. Comd g. 

From General Kautz 

Head Quarters, Cav. Div., October 6th, 1864, 7 P.M. 

Major Gen. BUTLER, Comd g. 

GENERAL: I send in four deserters and two Refugees. 
The refugees left Richmond this afternoon, they tell of a 
movement of troops to the enemy s left. They passed Thome s 
House, going to the left on York River R. R. One mentions 
Law s, Benning s and Griggs Brigades with a good supply of 



228 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Artillery. He has been drinking a little and I do not know 
how much confidence to place in his statement. If you should 
hear any confirmation of his story, please notify me, as it will 
indicate a reconnoissance in force in my front. 

Very Respectfully, etc., AUGUST (V.) KAUTZ, Brig. Gen. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 6th, 1864, 12.30 P.M. 

Col. SHARP, Dept y Prov. Mar. Genl., CITY POINT 

I WILL be at my Head Qrs. a mile and a half from Varina. 
You will land at Varina or Aikens Landing, and bring horses. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Head Qrs., Oct. 6, 64 

MY DEAREST LITTLE WIFE: Why "little," I don t exactly 
know, because you are as big as anybody except Blanche, but 
I suppose because of a desire of all men to have that which is 
dear to them small, petite, so that they may pet it. I got 
your letter last night of October 2d. Where is the one of 
October 1st? But you say you went to Boston yesterday 
and were very tired, and I suppose there s where the letter is. 
You say I have not been doing anything in particular. 
Let me tell you this has been the most brilliant movement of 
the War. So now, my critical Madame. As to Hixon, I 
thought I wrote you. If he would like the position of surgeon 
either to a colored or a white regiment I can give him one. 
Write me in your next. As to Kimball, I will give him a 
lieutenancy in a new rebel regiment that I am raising to serve 
on the North Western frontier, and quick promotion. But 
I do not want him on the staff. I have not quite a taste for 
him "some cannot abide a homeless, necessary cat." 
And although I have men not his equals, if you please, yet 
most of them are more to my taste. I wish well to the young 
man. If you hear of any smart, active young men that have 
been in the war or have not, if they are in earnest I will make 
them lieutenants, and promote them according to their 

ca P acity - Yours, BENJ. 

P. S. You say you are coming this week, and write Sun 
day. I suppose that means you will start before Saturday. 
Please advise me when you start, whether you will stay a 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 229 

day at New York, and when you will probably reach the 
Fortress. B. 

From General Birney to General Butler 

10 A. C., Oct. 6th, 1864 

GEN. KAUTZ sends in some prisoners who report three 
brigades of enemy moving this afternoon down York river 
railroad, evidently a reconnoissance on Kautz s front. 

D. B. BIRNEY, M. G. 

From General Birney to General Butler 

10 A. C., Oct. 6th, 1864 

KAUTZ I think has been (mistaken ?) Musketry seemed like 
infantry. Shall I make any disposition to meet this? I 
have sent staff officers to ascertain the exact state of affairs. 

D. B. BIRNEY, M. G. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Head Q rs. Army of the James, Oct. 7th, 1864 

MY DEAREST SALLIE: I got your little, very very little, note 
of Oct. 3rd last night, and was thankful for little ("smallest 
favors gratefully received, larger ones in proportion"). All 
quiet along our lines. We are getting ready for a move, how 
ever, and this time I have hopes. Grant has gone to Wash 
ington for a day or two. I am in command of the Army. 
Nothing will be done, however, till he returns. My health is 
of the best. Our camp is now a very pleasant one in an oak 
grove. I am afraid we shall not stay long enough for you 
to see it. When do you start? I suppose you will be almost 
started before this reaches you. You should tell me when 
you start, so that I may not be writing useless letters home 
to you. Does Sue go out, and how soon? Is mother all well 
and supplied with money? See to that, please. 

Is Frazer going to stay? Why don t that dear, lazy good- 
for-nothing girl of mine write to me? 

Truly yours, Dearest, BENJ. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Oct. 7th, 1864 

DEAREST: I have your letter including Fanny Fern s. 
The place you are in seems solitary, or rather wretched 



230 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

enough, but the excitement of the situation will relieve it 
from being tedious. For me, I think of you of course with 
anxiety daily, exposed to battle or liable to be, and of Harriet 
with increasing doubt, if she will rally from this attack that 
has brought her to the bed. On either side there is no great 
cause just now to be merry, yet I am too active and full of 
care to be dull. I had fixed on Monday next to leave for the 
Fortress, but today she is so feeble I do not feel positively 
sure. I am glad Fisher is about to return. We shall look 
for him on Saturday night. When he comes, I can better 
determine the day we will start. Corliss has not yet com 
pleted Harriet s will, but intends to this week. The chairs 
and tables are piled with clothing ready to put in the trunks. 
I am very impatient to be at the Fort. It seems to me there 
is more safety to you if I am nearer. I think it odd Grant 
should be away at this time. Gold has been running down, 
now it is at a standstill. If our troops get no nearer to Rich 
mond, it will go up at once. And you will be likely to be 
attacked where you are. If I were at the Fort I should know 
the liabilities. I might as well be at the North Pole as here 
for any immediate knowledge of what you are doing. I must 
say goodbye, dearest, with the hope of seeing you soon. 

Most truly and affectionately yours, SARAH 

From General Birney to Lieutenant Colonel Smith 

10 A. C., Oct. 7th, 1864 

THE enemy are attacking Kautz on both roads, Gary s 
Cavalry, he thinks. D R BIRNEY> M Q 

From General Birney 

2.10 A.M., 10 A. C., Oct. 7th, 1864 

Lt. Col. KENSEL, Chief of Sta/ 

THE Captain of Artillery sends me word he has only a 
hundred infy. to protect his battery. 

D. B. BIRNEY, Maj. Gen. 

From General Birney to General Butler 

Oct. 7th, 1864, 3.37 A.M. 

MY staff officer finds that the story as to massing front of 
Fort Harrison untrue. D B BmNEYj M> G> 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 231 

From General Birney 

United States Military Telegraph, 10 A. C., Oct. 7th, 1864, 6.45 

To Col. E. W. SMITH, A. A. G. 

THE enemy are driving in Kautz s pickets on Darby & 
Charles City Road. Cannot tell whether it is a large force 

or not. 

D. B. BIRNEY 

From General Birney to General Butler 

BY TELEGRAPH, 10 A.C., Oct. 7th, 1864 
GENERAL KAUTZ is routed, and enemy are moving to my 



rear D. B. BIENEY 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs., Oct. 7th, 9 A.M. 

Li. Gen. GRANT, War Dept., WASHINGTON 

AT 6.45 this morning the enemy have attacked and driven 
Kautz back, and are now advancing on our right toward the 
rear in strong force. They have just opened fire upon Fort 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 
From General Butler to General Weitzel 

Oct. 7th, 9.30 A.M. 

Do you see anything on the left that looks like a demon 
stration, or is it only mortar firing? If they are massing 
troops at all, this move on the right may be the feint, but I 
am inclined to think not. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Birney 

Head Qrs., 9.45, Oct. 7th 

I AM inclined to think that the enemy, if they are in earnest 
on the right, will make the attack pretty far down toward 
New Market, so as to turn us if possible. A brigade of ob 
servers pretty well down might be well. What has become 
of Kautz? You say routed, I hope not as bad as that. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 



232 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to General Birney 

Head Qrs., Oct. 7th, 1864, 9.50 

GEN. WEITZEL just says he sees no movement of troops in 
his front. R BUTLER) Ma j t Gen > L Comd g. 



From General Butler to General Weitzel 

Head Qrs., Oct. 7, 9.55 A.M. 

HAVE as strong a reserve force as you can spare ready to 
move to the aid of Birney if the attack develops itself on our 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 
From General Rawlins to General Butler 

Hd. Qrs., CITY POINT, 10 A.M., Oct. 7, 1864 

PLEASE furnish these Hd. Qrs. with any information you 
can, to have forwarded to Gen l. Grant, & it will be sent 
forward with all possible haste if you have not already sent 

to him JNO. A. RAWLINS, Brig. Genl. C. of Staff 

From General Butler to General Birney 

Head Qrs., Oct. 7th, 1864, 10.15 A.M. 

REFUGEE reports Law s, Benning s and Greggs Brigades 
as the force of infantry, and a battalion of artillery with 
Lomax Cavalry, as the force of artillery and cavalry. If 
this be so, then it is but a demonstration on the right, and it 
may be possible to push them. I think Weitzel can hold his 
left. I have ordered four pieces of artillery to Signal Hill 
near New Market. BENJ R BUTLER? Ma j Gm > L Comd > g , 

From General Butler to General Weitzel 

Head Qrs., October 7th, 10.20 A.M. 

A REFUGEE reports Law s, Benning s, Greggs Brigades as 
the force on our right, with a brigade of artillery & Lomax 
Cavalry. If this be so, then this on the right is but a feint, 
and we must look to the left and centre sharply. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 233 

From General Butler to General Rawlins 

Head Qrs., Oct. 7th, 1864, 11 A.M. 

I HAVE ordered my despatch to General Grant to be dupli 
cated to you. Nothing has changed since that despatch. 
I have thrown my right back, put Spring Hill near New 
Market in fighting order, and am waiting. Deserters report 
no new troops in my front, but a large portion withdrawn 
from Chaffin s for this demonstration on the right. The 
force moving I make out to be Law s, Benning s and Greggs 
brigades infantry & battery of artillery, and Lomax brigade of 
cavalry. The shelling of Harrison still goes on with vigor. If 
I can learn with a little more certainty about his movement on 
my right I shall take the offensive with two divisions of Birney. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

I will direct the operator to take off at City Point any 
despatch I may send to Gen l. Grant. B. F. B. 

From General Butler to General Meade 

Head Qrs. near VARINA, Oct. 7th, 1864, 11.05 A.M. 

I HAVE made out this attacking column to be Benning s, 
Law s & Greggs Brigade infantry, a battalion of artillery, & 
Lomax Cavalry. I hear of no reinforcements to General Lee. 
Nor have I heard of any other troops moved across the river. 

I am inclined to think that there can hardly be a real attack, 
so far as my information goes. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Birney 

Head Qrs., 11.16 A.M., Oct. 7th, 1864 

DESPATCH by hand of aid rec d. Field Division to wit, 
Law s, Benning s, & Greggs Brigades have always been here. 
There are four regiments of Pickett s division. They may 
be on the move to get to our right; if so I think we may send 
two divisions after them, and get between them & their base. 
What think you? I can hear of no new troops coming over 

i~j *"pfi 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 



234 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to General Weitzel 

Oct. 7th, 12 M. 

BIRNEY reports that he easily repulsed the enemy on his 
right, but that Pickett s & Field s Divisions are going still 
farther to his right. If I take the offensive, what force can 
you show to hold Birney s left? 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Birney 

Oct. 7th, 12 M. 

I THINK we must not let them intrench on the Darbytown 
Road. Please advance upon them in such forces as you can 
spare, and see if we cannot get on their flanks. I am at 
telegraph office to confer with you. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Head Qrs. near VARINA, 12 M., Oct. 7 

KAUTZ S cavalry were driven in with some loss. Birney 
easily repulsed the enemy on his right, and I am now waiting 
for a little further information, when I propose to assume the 
offensive with two divisions of Birney. I think this is only 
an attempt to hold the Darbytown Road far down as possible. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major Gen 9 l. Comd g. 

From General Birney to General Butler 

10 A. C., Oct. 7th, 1864, 1 P.M. 
I AM now forming for attack. Have you anything for me 

now? D. B. BIRNEY, M. G. 

From General Birney to General Butler 

10 A. C., Oct. 7th, 1864, 2 P.M. 

I HAD supposed the 127th Colored at Signal Tower. Capt. 
Battery says that he has only one hundred infy. I have sent 
a large regt. there. I do not believe the enemy are advancing 

on it: - D. B. BIRNEY, M . G. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 235 

From General Birney to General Butler 

10 A. C., 3.35 P.M., Oct. 7th, 1864 

MY reconnaissance to Darby road below where Kautz 
was finds no enemy. I am advancing here to Kautz s position 
with a division. D fi BIHNEY) M G 

From General Butler to General Birney 

Oct. 7th, 1864, 3.50 P.M. 

PUSH them smartly. Weitzel will hold on. Despatch 
received. BENJ p BuTLER? Ma - Gen > L Comd ^ 

From General Birney to General Butler 

10 A.C., Oct. 7th, 1864 

I AM doing that now. D fi BIRNEY> M Q 

From General Birney to General Butler 

10 A. C., 4.30 P.M., Oct. 7th, 1864 

I HAVE the entrenchments that rebels constructed, and am 
advancing towards Darby road at Dr. Johnson s house. A 
rebel deserter of Hagood s brigade reports Hoke s division 
massed in Darby road on Richmond side, and Field s on my 
right. If this is true, it will soon be developed. 

D. B. BIRNEY, M. G. 

From General Birney 

10 A. C., 4.50 P.M., Oct. 7th, 1864 

Lt. Col. KENSEL, Chief Staff 

THE signal officer is, I think, at last right. The enemy I 
think are marching rapidly towards Charles City road. It 
may be to make a detour and hide their movements. 

D. B. BIRNEY, M. G. 

From General Birney to General Butler 

10 A. C., Oct. 7th, 1864 

WE have prisoners from Gary s Brigade of Cavalry. They 
say that Lomax is in the valley the prisoners from the 
Hampton Legion. Gary was in to-day s fight. 

D. B. BIRNEY, Maj. Gen. 



236 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Kautz 

Hd. Qrts. Cav y Div., Army Corps, Jordan s Newmarket Road, 

Oct. 7th, 1864, 6 o clock, P.M. 

Major General BUTLER, Comdg. 

GENERAL: I am camped here and will picket out in front 
of Spring Hill until further orders. My command has suffered 
heavily to-day. We held on as long as we could, and I sup 
posed I could hold them, but after three hours fighting they 
came on me in superior numbers and drove us back. I lost 
the artillery in the swamp, through which the enemy forced 
me to retreat, by getting on my right flank and cutting me 
off from the Darby Road. Nine officers and three hundred 
and nineteen men are killed, wounded, or missing, most of 
them missing. My Adjt., Gen. Capt. Asch, and Lt. Beers, 
Aide-de-Camp, are captured. Eight pieces of artillery are 
lost. I have sent a squadron out to the Darby Road that 
reports the enemy have retired. I can go back in the morning 
and re-establish my line but, as I said before, it is an exposed 

Very respectfully, etc., 
A. V. KAUTZ, Brig. Gen. Comdg. Division 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Head Qrs., Oct. 7th, 6 P.M. 

AT 6.45 this morning, the enemy having moved Quid s 
and Hoke s Divisions from the left at Chaffin s farm round 
to our right at Darby town Road, attacked with spirit Kautz s 
cavalry in their entrenchments, and drove him back with 
small loss of men but with the loss of his artillery. The 
enemy suffered very considerable loss in this attack. The 
enemy then swept down the entrenchments toward Birney, 
who having thrown back his right waited their assault and 
repulsed it with very heavy loss on the part of the enemy. 
The enemy in the meantime advanced toward New Market, 
but were met by a force at the Signal Tower. At three P.M. 
I took the offensive, sending Birney with two divisions up 
the Darby town Road. The enemy has retreated as he ad 
vanced, and he now has reached and occupies the entrench 
ments which the enemy took from Kautz and were fortifying 
for themselves. Our loss has been small, not that of the 
enemy s. We have about a hundred prisoners. Will tele 
graph if anything of interest occurs. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 237 

From General Birney 

10 A. C., 6.50, Oct. 7th, 1864 

Lt. Col. SMITH, A. A. G. 

WE have Kautz s position, rebels have gone back to the 
entrenchments, a very reliable lady near the road reports 
death of Gen. Gregg. Saw his body. 

D. B. BIRNEY, Maj. Gen. 

From General Birney 

10 A. C., Oct. 7th, 1864 

Lt. Col. SMITH, A. A. G. 

ENEMY are in retreat, a division is forming and may strike 
his rear. They lost in killed and wounded heavy. One of 
my staff estimates a thousand. D R BlRNEY; M G 

From General Butler to General Kaulz 

Head Qrs., Oct. 7th, 1864, 7.15 P.M. 

I GRIEVE for your loss. You do not state what loss you 
inflicted on the enemy. The enemy attacked Gen. Birney s 
right, were repulsed with slaughter, with a loss of a thousand 
killed & wounded and a hundred prisoners. Birney then 
took the offensive and drove them back, and now holds your 
old line with a division of infantry. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 1. Comd g. 

From General Birney to General Butler 

10 A. C., 7.20 P.M., Oct. 7th, 1864 

MY impressions are that the enemy have resumed their 
old positions, and if Fort Harrison is to be attacked it will be 
at daylight tomorrow. I shall strengthen my left and be 

prepared for it. ir n 

D. B. BIRNEY, M. G. 

From General Butler to General Birney 

Hd. Qrs., Oct. 7th, 7.50 P.M. 

I THINK you are quite right in your suggestion as to the 
possible attack on Fort Harrison tomorrow morning. I do 
not precisely understand the position of your troops. Please 
explain a little more at length. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 



238 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to General Weitzel 

Oct. 7th, 8 P.M. 

BIRNEY thinks the enemy have returned to their old position, 
and possibly with intent to attack your left or Harrison at day 
light. I know you will be ready. We have much the best of 
this day s work. BNJ R BuTLER> Ma j Gen > L Comd >g f 

From General Birney 

10 A. C., 8.20 P.M., Oct. 7th, 1864 

Li. Col. E. W. SMITH, A. A. G. 

MY corps is disposed as follows: Terry on right, holding 
Kautz s position of this morning across the Darby town road 
with strong skirmish line. His brigades massed on Foster s 
right. Foster holds the right of my position this morning, 
and Gen l. Birney the left, excepting that portion relieved 
by the 18th A. C. D. B. BIRNEY, M. G. 

From General Butler to General Weitzel 

Oct. 7th, 1864, 9 P.M. 

BIRNEY now holds from the Darbytown Road to your 
right. I have directed him to strengthen his left so as to be 
able to aid you in case of attack. If your men get their coffee 
early in the morning you can hold. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Kautz 

Head Qrs. t Oct. 7th, 1864 

GEN. TERRY with such troops as he has under his command 
holds your old position. You will move up your old com 
mand just before day, and reporting to him for this purpose 
take position to strengthen his right and flanks. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Birney 

October 7th, 1864, 9.30 P.M. 

I HAVE ordered Gen. Kautz to move up from near Spring- 
hill, where he now is, and reporting to Terry for this purpose 
to take position to strengthen his right and flanks at day 
break. That may enable you to look a little more to your 
left. You can also order up your regiment from Deep Bottom. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 239 

From General Butler 

CIPHER. Head Qrs. Army of the James, October 7th, 1864, 10 P.M. 

Lt. Gen. GRANT, WASHINGTON 

BIRNEY has taken Kautz s old position, and holds the 
enemy in the inner line of entrenchments around Richmond, 
extending from the Darbytown Road to connect with Weitzel 
on the left near Fort Harrison. There has been no movement 
at Petersburg today. 

We have much the best of this day s work. A thousand at 
the least of the enemy killed & wounded, a hundred prisoners, 
and a bloody repulse. Gen. Gregg commanding Field s 
division is reported, by a lady who saw the body, as killed. 
No news by Richmond papers save that they boast that 
Hood is at Marietta, strongly entrenched. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Birney to General Butler 

10 A. C., Oct. 7th, 1864, 10 P.M. 

I DO not care about Kautz s men more than to picket to 
Darby road from the point on New Market road. I have 
Col. Sumner of Mtd. Rifles and my 4th Massachusetts cavalry. 

I have brought up the regiment that I sent Signal Tower. 
Were you not mistaken in saying Deep Bottom, where I also 
have a large regiment? If Gen l Kautz can keep me advised 
of any movement on Darby and Charles City road, so that I 
can march upon them, it will answer. 

I have Gen. Terry massed on my right, and have my picket 
line strong and running to Darby road. My casualties will 
not exceed one hundred and fifty (150). 

D. B. BIRNEY, M. G. 

From General Butler to General Birney 

Oct. 7, 1864, 10.15 P.M. 

I SHOULD have said Signal Tower instead of Deep Bottom. 
Kautz is ordered up. You can dispose of him as may be of 
most use. 



R BuTLER? Maj GW/ Comd g. 



240 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Head Q rs. near VARINA, Oct. 8th 

MY DEAR SARAH: Just as I closed my letter yesterday 
morning the enemy began firing, and we had a smart fight all 
day. He began by driving in Kautz s Cavalry, and then 
attacking my right flank. He was then repulsed with loss, 
and our men thereupon assumed the offensive and drove him 
back and retook the line from which Kautz had been driven. 
All quiet this morning. 

I have got your letter of the 3rd. I got your letter of the 
second, none of the first or 4th or 5th or 6th. I should, if 
the mails are in any order at all. 

I suppose you will hardly get this letter, and this will be the 
last one I shall write till I see you here, or hear of you at the 
fort. This will not reach Lowell till Monday, if then, and I 
suppose you will have started by that time. But if not, you 
will get this and see renewed evidence that I love, and love to 
think of my own dearest wife. p. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, October Sth, 1864 

Brig. Gen. RAWLINS, Chief of Staff 

PLEASE order all men of the 142nd and 112th and 169th 
New York to come up to me at once from the landing at City 
Point. There has been very unfair means used by officers 
from the Army of the Potomac in relation to these men. They 
have tampered with them, endeavoring to get them into regi 
ments in the Army of the Potomac. 

Please order all men for New York Regiments not actually 
in the Army of the Potomac to report to me at Varina, & send 
them with transportation to that point. 

While we are here fighting I had a little rather the Army of 
the Potomac would not steal our men. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Oct. 8, 64, 1.35 P.M. 

Lieut. Gen. GRANT, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

OUR success yesterday was a decided one, although the 
Rebel papers claim a victory. They admit Gen. Gregg killed 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 241 

and Gen. Britton wounded. Gen. Gregg was in command 
of Field s Division. 

The Richmond Examiner of this morning, containing an 
official despatch from Gordonsville last night, states that a 
Yankee cavalry force yesterday burnt the railroad bridge 
over the Rapidan and made their escape. No movement on 
the Petersburg side. No more troops have been sent over 
from Lee. The movement of yesterday was made under his 
eye. All quiet today. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Meade 

Hd. Qrs. near VARINA, Oct. 8th, 1864, 7.45 P.M. 

DESPATCH received. Upon full examination I agree as to 
your force. It was reported to me in the morning of yesterday 
that prisoners from Heth s and Wilcox s Division were cap 
tured. This at first caused some anxiety, but upon personal 
examination I find that they were soldiers of those divisions 
who had deserted, and been in the exigency when out of 
Castle Thunder and put into the local defence. 

We have before us Field, Hoke, four regiments of Pickett 
and Bushrod Johnson, composite brigade, and some five 
thousand local defences. 

In the affair of yesterday we killed Gen. Gregg, command 
ing Field s Division, wounded severely Gen. Britton, Col. 
Haskell of the 7th S. C. Infantry, and Maj. Haskell of the 
S. C. Artillery, and quite a thousand others. Captured 
a hundred and fifty deserters and prisoners. I have over 
fifty deserters today. We lost less than four hundred all told. 

All quiet today. ,, n , f . n ,, ~ 

BENJ. i . BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Coma g. 

From General Kautz to General Butler 

BY TELEGRAPH from Head Quarters, CARY, Oct. 8, 1864 

I FIND that all the axes and entrenching tools in my com 
mand were lost in the affair of the 7th, and some delay must 
occur unless there are some tools on this side of the James. 

Please let me know if I can get axes, etc. on this side. Col. 
West has in his brigade about one hundred and fifty recruits 
here, dismounted. Will it be possible to get horses for them 

Very respectfully, AUG. V. KAUTZ, B. Gen. 

VOL. V 1 6 



242 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From S. H. Gay to General Butler 

Office of the " Tribune" NEW YORK, Oct. 8th, 1864 

DEAR SIR: Notwithstanding I know that you must be a 
good deal troubled with representations of the peculiar hard 
ships of individual cases among the prisoners held by the 
Rebels, I send you the enclosed copies of two letters to which 
I beg your special attention. Mr. Brown, naturally enough, 
believes himself greatly aggrieved, but how unjustly, so far 
as I am concerned, my pertinacity with you in regard to Mr. 
Richardson and himself, will bear me witness. I have pre 
ferred rather that you should consider me a bore than that I 
should not be able to say to them and their friends I have done 
all that I could. And now will you not consider me pre 
suming in adding a word upon another subject? 

Major General Butler 

I have several times been asked, within the last year, to 
state to you that stories injurious to your reputation are 
busily circulated here in relation to certain transactions in 
New Orleans. One in relation to some plate, another to a 
box of gold, it is quite unnecessary that I should enter into 
details, as you know to what I refer, have been most used to 
your injury. 

You, perhaps, have been led to expect a letter of inquiry 
from me. I, at all events, have been led to believe by those 
who ought to know that you would prefer to have an ex 
planation asked, but you might avail yourself of an oppor 
tunity to crush the slander, unearth those who by its private 
circulations are taking the surest way of injuring your repu 
tation. If I am wrong in this, or have been misled, I shall 
deeply regret having taken what may seem an unwarrantable 
liberty. If otherwise, I have only to assure you that the 
columns of the Tribune are open to you to make any explana 
tion you see fit, in reply to an inquiry in a private letter as to 
the real history of those slanders against you. 

You have, no doubt, received assurances enough of the good 
done by your recently published letter. Permit me to add 
my testimony to the rest that nothing that has been said has 
so clearly set forth the present situation of affairs, nothing 
has so encouraged the faint-hearted and doubting, and no one 
thing has so added to the enthusiasm and courage of the coun 
try. It was the right word spoken at the right time. I am, 
With great respect, Your obdt. Servant, S. H. GAY 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 243 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters near VARINA, VA., October 9th, 1864 

Hon. EDWARDS PIERREPONT, NEW YORK CITY 

I OWE you an apology for not answering your note in rela 
tion to the Smith Claim. When I left Fort Monroe for the 
field I directed all my business letters to be opened by my 
confidential clerk, and kept on file till I returned to the Fort, 
to let nothing pass which did not relate to the current business 
of the Army. When I went back to Fortress Monroe, except 
as a sick man for two days, I went to New York to prove my 
brother s will, which had been waiting from February for my 
personal presence. Hoping each day to get away and then 
see you in person, as I endeavored to do when in New York, 
I delayed from time to time this business, as you see I did the 
more important business of my brother s will. I make my 
offer again. I will pay to you for Messrs. Smith the sum 
taken by my order, upon his release, if you will get the author 
ity of the War Department or the President s that I shall so do. 

I took the money as the servant of the Country, holding 
military position from at that time rebellious citizens of the 
Confederate States, by their own oath of allegiance to that 
supposed government. I used it as a military officer for the 
service of my army. It was repaid me, and is now held by 
me as an officer of the Government to be paid on its order or 
by its permission. Wliat I would or would not do were it 
left to my judgment is not the question. I should make 
myself, I think, personally responsible were I to attempt to 
act without direction. You will do me a favor if you will 
get the order for payment. If such is the determination of 
the Government, they have all the papers before them, and 
have the power and right to determine the question. It is 
the only thing that gives me any uneasiness in case of my 
death. But that must be borne like every thing else that 
comes in the course of duty. 

I grieve much I did not see you in New York. As soon 
as the movements are over I intend to come to New York 
again, and hope then to see you. 

Very respectfully yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER 



244 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 
From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Sunday, October 9th, 64 

DEAREST: So you concluded from something in my letter 
that I think you have not been doing much. You are vastly 
mistaken. I know you are working with all the power you 
possess, to achieve what so many have failed in. And that 
you have gone far to do it. But there are intervals, when 
you are at rest and cannot move forward, when you are obliged 
to halt, as I have been from time to time in my work. Yester 
day I went through a sad duty, to convey Harriet to Mrs. 
Read s. I held her head in my lap and she rode easily, but 
she is very feeble, by no means so well as when you left. You 
can imagine I have some care and anxiety, but I do not like 
to dwell upon it. 

Most of our trunks are packed, and there is a general gather 
ing up of smaller articles to put them up for safety. If you 
are full of work and action, I at least am not idle. In truth, 
I could sink down, wearied out, only that, that is a poor 
resource, not fit for a thinking, earnest man or woman. Poor 
Harriet! her case is sad, too sad to write about. I did not go 
to Boston on the day I wrote you, but shall go tomorrow if it 
does not rain. And on the next day, Tuesday, shall start 
for N. York if I find we can get off. If not, shall leave on 
Wednesday. We shall stay over one day in N. York and 
then on to the Fortress. It may seem strange to you that 
I should be willing to take such a charge, but for her sake I 
would much rather take Harriet with me. She relies on me 
and will miss me much, poor woman, too much at this time. 
You see I have written this letter bottom side up. You must 
excuse it and the wretched scrawly way I write. I have not 
written a letter since you left when I have felt at ease and not 
hurried on to something else. When I get to you I hope 
there will be time to rest. But one cannot be sure of it. 

The news from you last night in the papers is most cheering. 
I write of it the last thing, but you know it is first in mind, as 
all that pertains to you must be to me. The children are well 
and pleased to go on the whole, though they cannot bear to give 
up the skating. It is very cold today, and makes me shudder. 
Dearest, do you think of me much and pleasantly? I hope so, 
for you and I have need of each other s care and sympathy. 
At least, I have need. I shall write again before I leave. 

Yours most truly, SARAH 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 245 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 9th, 1864, 9.30 A.M. 

WILLIAM H. STINER, Herald Correspondent, FORT MONROE 

YOUR reports in the Herald on the 6th of activity in the 
Navy at Fort Monroe, of the arrival and departure of Naval 
Officers, is calculated to give information to the enemy, and 
it must never occur again. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Weitzel 

Head Qrs., Oct. 9th, 1864, 5.35 P.M. 

THE enemy had some cavalry come over last night. May 
this not be a prelude to attempting to break through on the 
left? We have a thousand (prisoners) there, a temptation, 
to say nothing of a Maj. Gen. & his staff. Will you look to 
that a little, as a deserter from the "Virginia" says that he 
came through from the graveyard directly into your redoubt 
and was not challenged. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 9, 1864 

I AM at City Point. TT c ^ 

IT. S. GRANT 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Oct. 9th, 1864, Head Qrs., 7.10 P.M. 

I AM glad to hear of your safe return. All quiet along my 
lines. I got 75 deserters yesterday, and shall have about 
the same number by the morning, have twenty odd now. 

I am sorry to say Birney is so sick with dysentery that I 
must let him go home or lose him. 

Shall I have the pleasure of seeing you in the morning? 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 9, 1864 

I WILL be up to see you in the morning. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen l. 



246 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Oct. 10, 64, 7.50 P.M. 

Brig. Gen. KAUTZ, Com<Tg. Cavalry Div. 

You will receive in the morning two hundred and fifty 
entrenching tools and one hundred axes. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army of the James, Oct. 10, 64, 7.50 P.M. 

Col. DODGE, Chief Qr. M. 

CAN you squeeze out one hundred and fifty cavalry horses 
for me? BENJ p BuTLERj Ma j Gen >i Comd g. 

From General GRANT 

Headquarters, Armies of the United States, CITY POINT, VA., October llth, 1864 

Major Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Army of the James 

GENERAL: I inclose you the letter of the President to me, 
together with all other papers relating to the exchange of 
naval prisoners of war now in the James River, and turn the 
whole matter over to you to conduct. 

In our conversation yesterday I explained the point in 
Secretary Welles correspondence, which the President was 
afraid might involve us in trouble if retained by him. In 
conducting this exchange, ignore all that has been done here 
tofore in the matter, but make the exchange man for man, 
yielding no point before insisted on. Very respectfully, your 
obedient servant, ^ s GRANTJ Lieutenant . Genem i 

Official Records, Series 2, Vol. 7, Page 965. 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Executive Mansion, WASHINGTON, October 5, 1864 [Not in chronological order} 

Lieutenant-General GRANT 

I INCLOSE you a copy of a correspondence in regard to a 
contemplated exchange of naval prisoners through my lines, 
and not very distant from your headquarters. It only came 
to the knowledge of the War Department and of myself 
yesterday, and it gives us some uneasiness. I therefore send 
it to you with the statement that, as the numbers to be ex 
changed under it are small and so much has already been 
done to effect the exchange, I hope you may find it consistent 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 247 

to let it go forward under the general supervision of General 
Butler, and particularly in reference to the points he holds vital 
in exchanges. Still, you are at liberty to arrest the whole 
operation if in your judgment the public good requires it. 

"Abraham Lincoln," p. 215. Y UrS trul V> A ^NCOLN 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. llth, 1864, 9.25 A.M. 

Brig. Genl. RUFUS INGALLS, Chief Quartermaster, CITY POINT 

PLEASE send me up twelve hundred (1200) feet of rails to 
Dutch Gap. I do not need the best quality of rails. Any 
thing that will do for a gravel train. If you have any strap 
rails they will do as well as any. Please answer by telegraph 

when I can have them. -^ ,, . ri , 7 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. llth, 1864, 9.25 A.M. 

Col. WEBSTER, Chief Quartermaster, FORT MONROE 

SEND me eight (8) gravel railroad cars, dumpers, at once. 
There are at Norfolk some that go with the dredging machine; 
I should prefer those. Acknowledge the receipt by telegraph, 
and say when the cars will leave. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. llth, 1864, 9.45 A.M. 

Maj. Genl. TERRY, Comd g. 10th Army Corps 

THE recommendations of your brigade and divisions Com 
manders of gallant and meritorious officers and men who dis 
tinguished themselves in the late movement on the north side 
of the James, were sent back for correction three days since, 
and I have not heard from them since. Please have them com 
pleted and forwarded to these Hd. Qrs. without delay. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, October llth, 1864, 9.45 A.M. 

Brig. Gen. KAUTZ, Comd g. Cavalry Division 

ONE hundred and fifty (150) cavalry horses are at your 
disposal at Bermuda. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 



248 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army of the James, Oct. 11, 64 

Maj. Gen. WEITZEL, Comd g. 18 Corps 

You will order each, from every regt. in your command, 
an officer & orderly to go to their respective camps on the 
other side of the James, & bring up with them all men found 
in such camps, & at Deep Bottom surgeon s certificate for 
excuse to men in camps. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

Duplicate to Gen. BIRNEY, Comd g. 10 A. C. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, October llth, 1864 

Brig. Gen. GRAHAM, Comd g. Army Gunboats, POINT OF ROCKS 
PLEASE send down one of your boats to the Northern Neck 
opposite Smith s Neck light. Land there and seize some 
eight (8) or ten (10) of the most reputable citizens you can 
find and bring them to me. State that they are taken as 
hostages for J. R. McDonald, captain of the light-ship and 
six (6) men who went on shore for water. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. llth, 1864 

Capt. CASSELLS, Prov. Mar. 9 BERMUDA 

REPORT in person this evening. I wish information in 
regard to the oyster & huckstering business. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 9 l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, October llth, 1864, 3.30 P.M. 

Maj. Genl. WEITZEL, Comd g. 18th A. C. 

IT is reported to me that there are between seven (7) and 
eight hundred (800) men at the Hd. Qrs. of the 18th Army 
Corps. It seems to me hardly possible that so many can be 
needed. Pray investigate it. It may not have been brought 
to your attention. There are 250 in the 10th A. C. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 249 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 11, 1864 

DID Gen. Weitzel attempt what he proposed for last night? 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen I. 

From General Rawlins to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 11, 1864 

GEN L GREGG has been applied to in relation to the Spencer 
carbines referred to in your despatch of last evening, and 
reports that he cannot spare them, as he has not a sufficient 
number to arm his own cavalry. 

JNO. A. RAWLINS, B. G. Chf. of Staff 

From James R. Eden 

Army of Potomac, Oct. 11, 1864 

Brig. Gen 1. RAWLINS, Chf. of Staff 

YOUR communication to Gen. Meade concerning Spencer 
carbines for Gen l. Butler has been referred to me. 

There are no Spencer carbines on hand at the depot. As 
soon as any are rec d Gen l. Butler will be supplied. 

JAS. R. EDEN, Lt. Chf. Ord. 
Repeated to Gen l. Butler by order. 

Lt. Col. BOWERS, A. A. G. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Oct. llth, 1864 

DEAREST: I could not get off today. And I have worked 
rapidly. Tomorrow afternoon we leave. I have only time 
to write this. It is now two o clock. I carry the silver to 
the bank at three, make one or two more calls, pick up the 
odds and ends, and say amen to it all. Shall stay over one 
day in N. York, then on to the Fort, and up to see you. Till 

then, as ever, 1T 7 c 

Most truly your SARAH 

From General Butler 

Hdqrs., Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, Army of the James, 

in the Field, October Uth, 1864 

Hon. ROBERT OULD, Agent of Exchange, RICHMOND, VA. 

SIR: I enclose a copy of an advertisement cut from a Rich 
mond paper, where a military officer commanding a camp 



250 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

near Richmond calls upon their masters to come forward and 
make claim to the services and labor of certain colored men 
therein described. Some of these are believed to be soldiers 
of the U. S. Army captured in arms. If I am mistaken in 
this belief I desire to be promptly corrected. 

I have ordered to such manual labor as I deem most fitting 
to meet the exigency an equal number of the prisoners of war 
held by us, and I shall continue to order to labor captives in 
war to an equal number of all the soldiers of the United States 
I have reason to believe are held to labor and service by the 
forces you represent, until I am notified that this practice on 
your part has ceased. Much as I regret the necessity imposed 
upon me to do this, yet I am compelled by the sternest con 
victions of duty thus to inaugurate a system of retaliation, 
which will be firmly carried out. 

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient 

CO"p\7O T"l "I" 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General Commanding 

Official Records, Series 2, Vol. 7, Page 970. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 12th, 1864, 11.15 A.M. 

Brig. Genl. PATRICK, Prov. Mar. Gen 9 1., CITY POINT 

PLEASE send me under guard on board a boat one hundred 
and fifty (150) of the most considerable of the prisoners cap 
tured by us in your hands, especially of the local defence, 
including Privates Henly and McRay, for the purpose of 
being put to work in Dutch Gap in retaliation for our soldiers 
now at work in the Rebel trenches near Fort Gilmer. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gerfl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, October 12th, 1864, 12.30 P.M. 

Maj. Genl. TERRY, Comd g. 10th Corps 

You will take two divisions of your corps, preferably the 
1st and 3rd if their places on your line can be spared, and in 
conjunction with Gen. Kautz s cavalry you will make a recon- 
noissance in force, and drive away if practicable the enemy 
from the works they are now building on the Darbytown or 
Central Road. Gen l. Weitzel has been ordered to support 
your line if necessary. Take care that your force are not 
cut off. I presume you will find about six thousand of the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 251 

enemy s veteran troops, Early & Hokes Divisions, in your 
front. You will push the enemy in his old line of fortifica 
tions, but not pursue further unless you see such indications 
of giving way as will justify it, of which you will keep me 
advised. You will communicate this order to Gen. Kautz 
that he may cooperate with you. Make all your dispositions 
as rapidly as possible, & inform me when you are ready to 
move, and I will give the order. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Weitzel 

Head Quarters, October 12th, 1864, 12.30 P.M. 

I FORWARD to you for your information orders sent to Gen l. 
Terry, also orders from the Lt. General to me. You will take 
such measures as you may be able to support General Terry s 
movements. I will advise you of the moment he moves. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, October llth, 1864, 12.50 P.M. 

Lt. Genl. U. S. GRANT, CITY POINT 

IN compliance with your instructions in regard to the recon- 
noissance, orders have been issued which went out at half 
past twelve (12 J) today, copies of which I will forward. We 
are delayed moving at once by the fact of a flag-of-truce being 
out. We shall be all ready to move if the flag-of-truce returns 

in season> BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, October \1th, 1864, 1.30 P.M. 

Lieut. Genl. GRANT, CITY POINT 

I SEND by Orderly copies of correspondence between myself 
and Mr. Ould. I also enclose the affidavits upon which my 
action is based. The notification to Mr. Ould of my action 
will actually get to him before it is consummated. I think 
you will agree with me that the evidence is conclusive. You 
will find a copy of the advertisement of which I speak in one 
of my letters in the Richmond Examiner, which I sent you 
yesterday. BENJ R BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 



252 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 12, 1864 

YOUR correspondence with Judge Ould on the subject of 
exchange, & also the affidavits upon which you rely for proof 
of the unwarrantable conduct of the enemy in employing 
prisoners of war at work on fortifications, and your letter in 
forming Mr. Ould of the steps taken to retaliate, are received 
and the whole approved. I will forward the whole to the Sec y 
of War with my approval under each. 

U. S. GRANT, Li. Gen l. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, Oct. \1th, 1864, 1.50 P.M. 

Maj. Genl. WEITZEL, Comd g. 18th A. C. 

FOLLOWING despatch forwarded to Maj. Gen l. Weitzel for 
his information, with directions to occupy the line left by 
Birney and to watch the Newmarket Road. 

Hd. Qrs. 10th A. C., Oct. 12th, 1864 
Maj. Genl. BUTLER 

THE 2d Div. will not be sufficient to occupy more than its own place in the entrench 
ments and the place of the 1st Div. I think that Gen. Weitzel should occupy the 
position to be vacated by the 3rd Div. If he do so, I will move Birney out as he 
moves in. If he will then have any additional force to spare, I would suggest that it 
should be passed on the New Market Road, so as to be ready to meet any movement 

on my left after I have moved out. 

ALF. H. TERRY, B. M. G. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 
From General Butler 

Head Qrs., October IZth, 1864 

Maj. Gen. TERRY, Commanding 10th Army Corps 

You will move Ames and Birney s Divisions upon the 
enemy near the brick house on the Darby town road with 
vigor, so as to possess yourself of their line point being in 
trenched on that road. Gen. Kautz will move with you, 
turning the enemy s left if possible. Your movement should 
be so early as to strike the enemy by sunrise. Gen. Weitzel 
will be notified of your movement, & will hold as far as the 
New Market Road. 

You will observe the general directions as for the movement 
intended this afternoon. Keep me advised as often as possible 
of your movement. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 253 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. \Zth, 1864, 1.55 P.M. 

Maj. Gen. TERRY, Comd g. 10th A. C. 

GENERAL WEITZEL is ordered to occupy the line left by 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen L 
From General Butler to General Grant 

Head Qrs. Army of the James, Oct. 12th, 1864, 2.30 P.M. 

I HAVE the honor to enclose for your information copies 
of orders sent to Major Generals Terry and Weitzel prelimi 
nary to the movement you have directed. We are waiting re 
turn of flag-of-truce to move. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen L Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, October 12th, 1864, 3.10 P.M. 

Maj. Genl. TERRY, Comd g. 10th A. C. 

I FORWARD General Weitzel s despatch for your informa 
tion. I do not see that he can do any more than he has done. 
Your field return of this morning shows in the 1st Div. a 
total of four thousand four hundred and eighty-eight (4488) 
men, the 3rd Div. two thousand nine hundred and seventy 
(2970) men, making seven thousand four hundred and fifty- 
eight (7458) men in these two Divisions. Can it be that you 
have on picket the difference between 4700 men and 7400? 
Of course the 100th N. Y., if at Deep Bottom, is not in your 
field return, nor Birney s regt. if it is away. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen L Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, October 12th, 1864, 3.20 P.M. 

Major Genl. TERRY, Comd g. 10th A. C. 

FOUR (4) regiments of Pickett s Division are up the New 
Market road in rear of local defences as reserves. They 
have been there all the time. They are the only troops of 
Pickett s on this line. If you find them on your right, you 
may be sure there is nobody to move on New Market. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 



254 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, October nth, 1864, 3.55 P.M. 

Maj. Genl. WEITZEL, Comd g. 18th A. C. 

TERRY is ready to move, but will not move until direction 
from me. The moment the flag-of-truce returns let me know. 

I suppose you refer to the movements of our troops. No 
offensive movements will be made until the flag returns. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, Oct. I2th, 1864, 4 P.M. 

Maj. Genl. TERRY, Comd g. 10th A. C. 

DESPATCH announcing your readiness for movement re 
ceived at 3.50 P.M. Flag is still on the picket line. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen L Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Bead Qrs., Oct. 12th, 1864, 4 P.M. 

I AM ready to move, but the enemy still detain my flag on 

the picket line in front of Battery Harrison. I suppose that 

having moved my troops into position is all I can do till flag 

returns. I am in doubt whether to move tonight it is so late. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Terry to General Butler 

United States Military Telegraph, 4.20 P.M. 10 A. C. Oct. 12, 1864 

GENERAL: By your first order you directed me to inform 
you when ready to move, saying that you would give the 
order. I telegraphed at 3.25 that I was ready but have 
received no reply. Are you expecting me to move without 

further orders? TT ^ n , , ~ 

ALF. H. TERRY, B. M. G. 

From General Butler to General Terry 

Oct. Wth, 1864, 4.35 P.M. 

AT four o clock P.M. I sent you word that my flag-of-truce 
was detained by enemy on the picket line. I cannot move 

till that comes back. T>T^T ** n 91 ^ j> 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Coma g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 255 

From General Butler to General Weitzel 

Oct. nth, 1864, 5 P.M. 

COL. KENSEL has now been waiting four hours. Send 
messenger to him to return, leaving his papers in any officer s 
hands to whom they may have been entrusted. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Head Qrs., Oct. mh, 1864, 5 P.M. 

MY flag is still out. I have sent for it. It is raining, and 
I submit to you whether any movement best be made till 
morning. Am all ready. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 12, 1864, 5 P.M. 

YOUR despatch reed. Postpone the movement. It is 

now too late. TT c n T , ,< , 7 

TJ. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen I. 

From General Butler to General Terry 

Oct. \<tth, 1864, 5.15 P.M. 

POSTPONE the movement; it is now too late. Hold all 
ready for further orders. Of course your command will be 
informed that you are about to cross the James. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Weitzel 

Oct. mh, 1864, 5.20 P.M. 

ANY movement will be postponed till further orders. It is 
too late tonight. BNJ R BUTLER; Maj ^^ ^^ ^ 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Oct. 12, 1864, 7 P.M. 

THERE are at City Point about three hundred used recruits 
of the 142nd New York. They have been some days at 
City Point, have been coaxed by them who desire to get 
them. The Captains that have been commissioned have 
deserted them and cannot be found; they were ordered to 
the 142nd Regt. by the War Department. They have elected 
officers and they are a mob. If they can be sent to the Regi- 



256 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

ment to which they belong, they will be assigned to good 
companies with good officers and will be serviceable in a 
fortnight; otherwise they are worse than useless for months. 

We have suffered so much from these organizations render 
ing men useless that I trust where there is no organization 
we shall not wait for a mob to make one. 

Please order them to me, and I will send for them tomorrow 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. 
From General Butler to General Grant 

Oct. 12, 1864, 7.30 P.M. 

IF you have no objection, I will order that movement at 
daybreak tomorrow, so as to strike the enemy s pickets by sun 
rise, giving the men their coffee before the start. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POIXT, Oct. 12, 1864 

I FULLY approve of your making the movement ordered 
for this afternoon, early in the morning. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen. 

From General Butler 

Maj. Gen. WEITZEL, Commanding, &c. October 12 1864 

MAJ. GEN. TERRY will move with two divisions aided by 
Kautz upon the enemy at the Darbytown Road at daylight, 
so as to meet the enemy at sunrise. A vigilant watch should 
be kept of the enemy, and in case they move any forces to 
their left, a demonstration should be made from Battery 
Harrison. The New Market Road will need observation. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From Captain Mclntire to General Butler 

Office of the Provost Marshal General, Armies operating against Richmond, 

Oct. 13, 1864 

GENERAL: Two men belonging to the 5th New York Cavalry 
who were captured at Fort Republic and were taken to Rich 
mond, where they arrived on the 3d of Oct., report that they 
were confined about twenty -four hours in "Libby Prison," 
that there were one hundred and twenty-five negro soldiers 
there at that time. Citizens were permitted to go among 
them, and if any of them were recognized as having been the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 257 

property of those individuals they were permitted to take 
them away to their homes. 

These men were also confined two days on Belle Isle. They 
state that there were six thousand Union prisoners there at 
that time, and that they were being sent to Georgia as fast as 
they could conveniently be got off. Sixty men were placed 
in a small box car. They were packed so close that during 
the short time these men were with them many of them 
fainted from exhaustion and want of air. They were all 
compelled to stand upon their feet during the long journey. 

The informants, who are named respectively J. B. Knight 

and E. McMannis, both of 5th N. Y. Cav., made their escape 

on the Danville R. R. by leaping from the car, & yesterday 

arrived within our lines. Very respectfully, your obdt. servt., 

JNO. MclNTiRE, Capt. & Asst. Pro. Mar. 

Head Qrs., Dept. Va. & No. Car. Army of the James, in the Field, Oct. 15, 1864 

By direction of the Commanding General, respectfully 
referred to Col. W. Hoffman, Commissary Gen l. of Prisoners 
at Washington, D. C. A T p^^ ^ & A D c 



Office Com. Gen I. of Prisoners, WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 20, 64 

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War. 

W. HOFFMAN, Col. 3rd. Supt. Com. Gen l. Pris. 

War Dept., Oct. 21, 64 

Respectfully referred to the Commissioner for the Exchange 
of Prisoners for remarks. By order of the Sec y of War. 

Louis H. PELOUZE, Asst. Adft. Gen I. 

Oct. 24, 1864 

It is respectfully recommended that this letter be sent to 

Mai. Gen. Butler. ^ A TT ^ T . jr 1 

E. A. HITCHCOCK, Maj. Gen. V ol. 

Oct. 26, 1864 

To be forwarded by order of the Sec y of War. 

E. A. HITCHCOCK, M. G. V. 

A. G. Office, Oct. 29, 1864 

Respectfully referred to Major General Butler with refer 
ence to the endorsements hereon. 

A. A. NICHOLS, Asst. Adjt. General 

VOL. V 17 



258 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 
From D. W. C. Farrington 

NORFOLK, VA., Oct. 13th, 1864 

Major Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Comdg. Dept. Va. and N.C. 

GENERAL: Owners of cotton here desire to sell me their 
cotton at three-fourths the net sales, deducting ordinary rate 
of transportation and insurance, but desire me to sell through 
a broker of my own selection rather than by auction, expecting 
to realize more from a broker than by auction. 

Please answer me by telegraph if I may do so? And if you 
think best I will go to New York and see that it is properly 
sold. This arrangement will give the Treasury one-fourth of 
the net sales without expense or risk (except my commissions), 
and requires no investment of capital. Nearly all cotton 
which has come to this place is damaged and in bad order, 
making it very difficult to determine its value. I shipped 
one hundred and seven bales to New York yesterday. Very 
respectfully, Yom ML ^^ ? D w c FARRINGTON 



Oct. 13th, 1864, 1* P.M. 

P. S. Your telegram in regard to Mr. G. W. Lane s ship 
ment of cotton is this moment received. I know of no reason 
why he should not be allowed to ship it, although I have not 
carefully examined his documents. 

Very respectfully, D. W. C. FARRINGTON 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 13th, 1864 

I HAVE ordered Gen l. Benham to send back one of the 
regiments brought from Bermuda. Please notify Col. Totten 
that it will reach Bermuda early this morning, & for him to 
designate where it shall go. n g GRANT> 



From General Butler to General Terry 

Oct. 13, 8.45 A.M. 

DESPATCH received 8.30. Heard first sharp musketry at 
7.40, next at 8 o clock. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. ComcTg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 259 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army of the James, in the Field, Oct. 13, 64, 12 M. 

Lieut. Genl. GRANT, Comd g. U. S. Armies, Hdqrs., CITY POINT 
I FORWARD to you the enclosed despatch from Gen. Terry 
as the result so far of his reconnoissance, which he began this 
morning at daylight. Shall I order an attack on the works? 
They extend in a line from the house marked E. Cunningham 
on the map near Darby town Road about two (2) miles from the 
intermediate line, round to the point near New Market road 
marked Laurel Hill. BENJ R BUTLER> Maj ^.^ ^^.^ 

From General Butler to General Terry 

lid. Qrs. Army of the James, Oct. 13, 1864, 12-10 P.M. 

DESPATCH received. Contents referred to Gen. Grant. 
Will send orders. BENJ R BuTLER> Maj . Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

BY TELEGRAPH from CITY POINT, Oct. 13, 1864, Rec d 1 P.M. 

I WOULD not attack the enemy in his intrenchments. The 
reconnoissance now serves to locate them for any future 
operation. To attack now we would lose more than the 
enemy, & only gain ground which we are not prepared to 
hold, nor are we prepared to follow up any advantages. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen l. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, October 13th, 1864, 1.20 P.M. 

Lieut. Genl. GRANT, CITY POINT 

DESPATCH received. Orders have been sent to Gen l. 
Terry to reconnoiter the ground thoroughly, and to return 

to his old position. -r, T-> T> -\* - n n n j> 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 1. Coma g. 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Army of the James, October 13, 1864, 1.30 P.M. 

Maj. Genl. TERRY, Comd g. 

I WOULD not attack the enemy in their entrenchments. 

Having carefully reconnoitered the enemy, found their 
position and looked out all the roads, retire at leisure. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 



260 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 13, 1864 

HAS the expedition started out this morning returned? 
What was the result of their observation? The troops here 
have been assigned to Gen l. Benham to complete work laid 
to protect this place from raids, & to enable a small force 
to hold it in case it becomes necessary to move the greater 
part of the Army. I would not like to reduce this force unless 
there is a special necessity for it. u g QRANTJ 



From General Butler to General Grant 

Head Qrs. Army of the James, Oct. 13, 1864, 7.25 P.M. 

THE expedition has returned. Gen. Terry is now telegraph 
ing me the results. I will send them as soon as received. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 13, 1864 

Is the 158th N. Y. Inf. Vols. with the Army of the James? 

U. S. GRANT 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Head Quarters, Army of the James, October 13, 1864, 7.30 P.M. 

THE 158th New York is with the Army of the James, and 
won its colors handsomely at Battery Harrison. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Weitzel 

Head Qrs. Army of the James, October 13, 1864, 7.30 P.M. 

TERRY has found the enemy in force and entrenched. I 
have ordered him to return after making reconnoissance. 

(BENJ. F. BUTLER), Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army of the James, Oct. 13th, 1864, 9.10 P.M. 

Col. DODGE, Chief Quarter master , BERMUDA 

SEND the detachment of the New York Mounted Rifles to 
report to Genl. Kautz. BENJ> R BuTLER 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 261 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 13th, 1864, 9.10 P.M. 

Col. POTTER, Comd g. at BERMUDA HUNDRED 

ONE regt. of the two at Prince George Court House will 
report to you between this & morning. BNJ p 



From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 13th, 1864, 9.10 

Maj. Gen. TERRY, Comd g. 10th A. C. 

PLEASE send me a general report of your operations today 
for Gen l. Grant. What you have done & what you have 

found BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 13th, 1864, 9.15 P.M. 

PLEASE give me such information as you have of the result 
of Gen. Terry s reconnoissance. Such wild rumors were 
afloat about Varina this morning that I feel much anxiety to 

know the facts. TT r, ^ T , n , 7 

U. S. GRANT, Li. Gen I. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 13, 1864 

HAVE you artillery enough in Bermuda to defend it if the 
enemy should attack? I do not think such a thing likely, but 
would rather judge their examination to (be) with a view to 
further reduce their force than to run you north of the James. 

We want to be watchful, however, at all points. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 13th, 1864, 9.15 P.M. 

Lt. Genl. GRANT, CITY POINT 

I THINK we have artillery enough in Bermuda to defend it 
if they should attack. We have all the artillery necessary 
on the line and one six (6) gun Napoleon battery for movable 
artillery. I do not believe in any intention of attack. A 
deserter I had from in front of our line there said they had 
orders to look out for an attack from us day before yesterday. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 



262 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, October 13th, 1864, 9.50 P.M. 

Lt. Gen l. GRANT, CITY POINT 

THE operations today, as I learn them from Gen. Terry, 
are as follows: With two (2) divisions and Kautz s Cavalry 
he went up the Darbytown road, went along the enemy s lines 
to the right for something like a mile, driving in the enemy s 
pickets with considerable loss to them. He then sent me a 
telegram which I forwarded to you at 12 o clock M. To that 
I returned an answer. "Despatch received, contents referred 
to Gen. Grant. Will send orders." After receiving your 
orders at 1.30 I despatched to him the following: "I would 
not attack the enemy in their entrenchments. After care 
fully reconnoitring the enemy, found their position and 
looked at all the roads, retire at leisure." At 3 o clock I 
received from him that Gen l. Kautz had found a place in 
the line where there was apparently a gap, and Ames had 
gone in with a brigade before my orders were received, that 
he would retire as soon as that fact was settled. 

Ames was unsuccessful owing to the enemy s lines being 
retired, which gave the impression that there was a gap in the 
line. The enemy then charged Ames, and were repulsed 
handsomely. Terry then retired leisurely, followed only by 
a line of skirmishers for a short distance. The losses in his 
Corps he says during the day were between three (3) and four 
hundred (400). The troops are all back in their camps and 
every thing quiet. There is not the slightest cause for anxiety. 
I had telegraphed for all particulars from Gen l. Terry, but 
ascertained that being very much tired he was home abed. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 13th, 1864, 10.5 P.M. 

Maj. Gen l. WEITZEL, Comd g. 18th A. C. 

SEND the 12th New Hampshire to Potter immediately. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 13th, 1864, 10.5 P.M. 

Col. POTTER, Comd g. Bermuda 

THE 12th New Hampshire will report to you between now 
& morning. BENJ p BuTLERj Ma j % Gen > L 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 263 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Oct. 13th, 1864 

COL. POTTER is naturally from his situation a little nervous, 
and I have ordered Gen. Weitzel to send over the 12th New 
Hampshire to him, Col. Potter s own regiment. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

IN an attack on Fort Gilmer, on the 29th of September, 
about one hundred and fifty of the negro soldiers of the Army 
of the James were captured. On the 12th of October I was 
credibly informed that these prisoners of war had been set at 
work in the trenches under fire in front of our lines. I im 
mediately notified Mr. Ould, the agent of exchange, of this 
outrage, and failing to get an answer at 12 o clock on the 
13th of October, I determined to try the virtue of retaliation 
for wrong, and issued an order which will explain itself: - 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

GENERAL ORDER, No. 126 Army of the James > in the Field > 0cL 13 1864 

IT being testified to the commanding general, by a number 
of refugees and deserters from the enemy, that from one 
hundred to one hundred and fifty soldiers of the United States, 
captured in arms by the Confederates on the lines near Chapin s 
Bluff, have been taken from Libby Prison and otherwheres, 
and placed to labor on the intrenchments of the enemy s 
lines in front of their troops, the commanding general on the 
13th day of October notified the Confederate agent of ex 
change, Robert Ould, of the outrage being perpetrated upon 
his soldiers, and informed him that unless the practise was 
stopped, retaliation in kind would be adopted by the Govern 
ment of the United States. 

Being assured by General Ewell, commanding Confederate 
forces on the north side of the James, that an answer to this 
communication, if any, would be sent by 11 o clock A.M. 
to-day, and it being now passed 12 (noon) and no answer 
having been received, 

It is ordered: That an equal number of prisoners of war, 
preferably members of the Virginia reserves, by and under 
whose charge this outrage is being carried on, be set to work 
in the excavation at Dutch Gap, and elsewhere along the 
trenches, as may hereafter seem best, in retaliation for this 



264 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

unjust treatment of the soldiers of the United States so kept 
at labor and service by the Confederate authorities. 

It being also testified to by the same witnesses that the 
rations served to the soldiers of the United States so at labor 
is one pound of flour and one-third of a pound of bacon daily, 
it is ordered that the same ration precisely be served to these 
Confederate prisoners so kept at work, daily, and no other or 
different. 

It being further testified to that the time of labor of the 
soldiers of the United States so at work under the Confederates 
is ten hours each day, these Confederate prisoners so kept at 
work will be made to work, and work faithfully, daily during 
the same period of time. 

This order will be read to the prisoners set to work the 
first time they are mustered for labor, in order that they may 
know why it is that they do not receive that kind and cour 
teous treatment they have heretofore from the United States, 
as prisoners of war. 

Upon any attempt to escape by any of these prisoners so 
kept at work, they will be instantly shot. 

By command of Major-General BUTLER 

ED. W. SMITH, Assistant Adjutant-General 

The succeeding day the order was exactly executed. The 
experiment was a success. October 20, General Lee officially 
notified General Grant that the negro prisoners had been 
withdrawn from the trenches and would be treated as prisoners 
of war, and thereupon an order was issued and they were 
released. 

From General Butler to Lieutenant Michie 

Oct. Uth, 1864 

I THINK that one would do, but does Gen. Weitzel desire to 
weaken his reserves so much? There is no trouble on the 
right. This done at all is some divilment on the left, either 
our cattle, or brigade at Aikens , these Hd. Qrs., your Cox 
Hill Fort, or Dutch Gap. It is possible that they mean to 
use and fortify under cover of their boats the hill to the left 
of Weitzel s line. You and Weitzel will make such disposi 
tions as will take care of all of us. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, M aj. Gen l. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 265 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. Uth, 1864, 4.45 

Lt. Genl. U. S. GRANT, ComcTg. Armies U.S., CITY POINT 
No agreement has yet been made. Major Mulford is now 

out meeting Mr. Ould. -P, ^ 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 15, 1864, 4.20 P.M. 

I THINK it probably advisable, whilst Maj. Mulford is here, 
to get the naval prisoners on hand put through the lines. 
Points of difference may serve a good purpose hereafter. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen l. 

From General Butler 

Headqrs. Army of the James, in Field, Oct. 15, 64 

Lt. Gen. GRANT, Comd g. U.S. Armies, CITY POINT 

THE proposition for exchange of naval prisoners is accepted 
by the Rebels. I have just returned from a ride. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 15th, 1864, 7.25 

Brig. Genl. SHEPLEY, Comd g. Norfolk 

STEPHEN BARTON, of Bartonsville, Hertford Co., was arrested 
near South Mills w T ith his property. Send him up to me with 
copies of charges against him, all papers found upon him, any 
examinations that may have been had, and an inventory of the 

property found upon him. ^ ^ ^ f . r < , 7 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 

From General Butler 

Hdqrs. Army of the James, in Field, Oct. 15, 64 

Gen. TERRY, Comd g. 10th Corps 

FORWARD the deserters spoken of in your despatch at once. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Oct. 16th, 1864 

DEAREST: We are here at last, as you know before this by 
Field. Shall you come down, or will it be possible for us to 
come to you? 



266 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

We have been as busy as we were at home, dusting drawers, 
closets, unpacking trunks, and arranging generally. Yester 
day was lovely. We stole time for a drive on the beach, the 
air certainly is most delicious. This morning is a little cloudy. 
Fisher is still here, will leave this afternoon if Bennett is here 
to give him his papers. The children are all well. Benny, 
though, complained of sickness at the stomach before break 
fast, but he has now gone out to see the morning inspection. 
They bathed in two hours after we arrived in the surf, and 
were never quiet the whole day through. They are full of 
questions when they shall go to the front. 

Expecting to hear from you today, whether you will come 
or we shall go to you, I am, 

Ever most affectionately your SARAH 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 16, 1864, 12.05 P.M. 

THE Sec y of War and myself will start immediately for 
Aikens Landing. Will take no horses with us, and therefore 
request you to meet us at the Landing. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen l. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, Oct. ISth, 1864, 9 P.M. 

Col. HOFFMAN, Commissary General of Prisoners, 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

LIEUT. COL. MULFORD has delivered to the Confederate 
Agent of Exchange, Mr. Ould, ninety (90) naval officers and 
men of the Confederate service. He has received three 
hundred and twenty-three (323) officers and men of our 
naval service, including five (5) negroes, which he claims are 
all the negroes captured of our naval service. It is agreed 
between Ould and myself that I shall deliver any other naval 
prisoners which we have, and he will deliver all the naval 
prisoners black or white that he has, and he desires from us a 
list of any others which are supposed to be in the possession 
of the Confederates. He also wishes any other prisoners of 
their naval service which we have to be sent forward. He 
thinks there are some at Elmira and some at Fort Delaware. 
Please have inquiry made at our depots, because I am to 
deliver to him army equivalents according to assimilated 
rank for the excess. Please have these naval men assembled 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 267 

at Point Lookout, so that I may take them when we go to 
Savannah. Colonel Mulford will be in Annapolis on Thurs 
day morning, immediately after which we shall embark as 
soon as possible all the invalid prisoners we can get up to 
five thousand (5000), to be exchanged at Fort Pulaski for 
invalid prisoners in the hands of the Confederates. 

Col. Mulford has also four hundred and fifty (450) army 
prisoners, including twenty-seven (27) officers. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. ISth, 64 

Gen I. PATRICK, Pro. Mar. 

THE acting Pro. Mar. of the mail-boats at City Point 
passed a woman without any permission whatever to Bermuda 
Hundred. She is now on my hands at my Hd. Qrs., without 
any place to sleep, and with nothing to eat. She is simply a 
nuisance. I pray you see that this is corrected. The Pro. 
Mar. at Fort Monroe, unless by a special order of Gen. Grant, 
will not be permitted to pass people to my Hd. Qrs. The 
woman s story is, that she wanted to come here to see her 
son in the army. The Pro. Mar. took pity on her and passed 
her up. True, there is no excuse; false, there is none. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. ComcTg. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 19th, 1864, 4.30 P.M. [Not in chronological order] 

To the Comd g. Gen 1., Middle Deparment, BALTMORE, MD. 

YOUR Provost Marshal is sending down here people on 
unauthorized passes to my Department. Women to see 
their sons, brothers, and fathers. I want no such visitors. 
I apply to you in preference to correct the evil. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POIXT, Oct. 18, 1864 

THE first of a number of regiments of colored troops from 
Kentucky have just arrived. At what point will you have 
them landed? 

By command of Lt. Gen. Grant. 

T. S. BOWERS, A. A. G. 



268 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 18th, 10.10 A.M. 

Col. BOWERS, A. A. G., CITY POINT 

I PROPOSE to disembark at Deep Bottom the colored troops 
coming to me. They will be there at a place easy of access, 
now healthy, and with good water and a fine place for drill. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of James, Oct. 18, 64, 10.45 A.M. 

Col. R. C. WEBSTER, Chief Qr. M., FORT MONROE 

HAVE the dredging machine which we sent down fitted up 

for work as quickly as possible & sent up here. 

Some portion of her machinery has gone which should be 

at once fitted up. Also an extra dumping send. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Kautz 

Hd. Qrs. Army of James, Oct. 18, 64, 11 A.M. 

I SEND you a marked article in the Richmond Enquirer 
which I think you had better read to your troops, and ask 
them if they can t beat such cavalry as is therein described. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Kautz to General Butler 

Head Quarters, Cav. Div., Mrs. Gay s House, Oct. 18th, 1864, 3 P.M. 

GENERAL: Your note and the Enquirer received. There 
has been no difficulty about the enemy s cavalry except to 
meet them with us. It has been our fortune to be opposed 
to infantry, artillery, and breastworks, almost without ex 
ception. If you will engage to keep the infantry off us, we 
will try and take care of their cavalry. I have been quite 
unwell since I last saw you, but trust I shall be out again 
before any movement takes place. I send the requisition 
for orders with an endorsement as to the state of the battery. 
Very respectfully yours, AUGUST V. KAUTZ, Brig. Gen. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

11.10 o clock A.M., Oct. 18th, 1864 

IF you please to have one of your staff inspect our base 
hospital of the 18th Corps at Point of Rocks, perhaps it will 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 269 

be seen that with small expense we can make a hospital that 
will serve all purposes of the field in connection with our 
hospital boats. It has provided for three thousand. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 18th, 1864, 9 P.M. 

Brig. Gen I. PATRICK, Prov. Mar. GenL, CITY POINT 

PLEASE send me fifty (50) more rebel prisoners to put in 

Dutch Gap. 

So many of these are taking the oath of allegiance that I 

want to keep the numbers full. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From F. W. Bird to General Butler 

PRIVATE. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Council Chamber, BOSTON, Oct. 19th, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: Our Executive Committee to-day invited 
you to come and speak to us. You will receive the official 
communication from Mr. Clafflin, who will delay it a day or 
two to see if the National Committee will join it. Let me 
urge you to come if possible. If not, write us a stirring letter. 
You can do our cause good and help forward an object which 
you know I cherish in connection with its future in Massa 
chusetts. 

Pardon me if I suggest that in your letter you should say 
what generous words you can for Governor Andrew s admin 
istration. You know Gov. Andrew s warmest friends are 
yours as well, and my heart is set upon your succeeding him. 

Do not fail either to give us the speech or the letter. Address 
the letter to Clafflin, not to me, as I am only Bill Robinson s 
locum tenens during his absence. 

Faithfully yours, F. W. BIRD 

From Wm. C. Clafflin to General Butler 

Republican Head-Quarters, 3 Cornhill Court, BOSTON, Oct. 19th, 1864 

DEAR SIR: We have the honor to inform you that the 
executive committee of the Republican State Committee 
this day voted to request you to address the people of Massa 
chusetts, at Faneuil Hall, upon the issues of the present 
political canvass, at such time before the election as may 
suit your convenience. 



270 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Permit us to add personally our earnest hope that you will 
be able to gratify a large portion of your fellow-citizens by 
complying with this request. 

We have the honor to be, General, your obedient Servant, 

WILLIAM C. CLAFFLIN, Chairman 
F. W. BIRD, Secretary Pro Tern. 



From Richard Fay, Jr., to General Butler 

BROOKLINE, Oct. 19th, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have supposed that the weight of 
labor and responsibility on your shoulders would make cor 
respondence rather a bore to you, but meeting Webster yester 
day, he told me you still liked to have your mail bring letters 
from Northern friends. I do not know if you ever received 
my note written at Laconia in answer to your kind invitation 
to come to Lowell. I did not know of your being at home 
or I would have made business give way to the pleasure of 
seeing you. I stopped at Lowell on my way back, but you 
had returned to the army to carry on a campaign which has 
given you great and deserved reputation, and gratified your 
friends here beyond any scene in your career. Knowing 
your ardent wish to command troops in the field, I yet trembled 
at the difficulties without and within I knew you would have 
to encounter, and the auspicious course of your late operations 
has greatly delighted me. May it be the augury of constant 
good fortune. 

I have been out of health all summer, and now Dr. Bigelow 
insists that I shall give up business for a year and go to Europe 
or elsewhere, far from my office to think of nothing but air 
and sunshine and my dinner. I cannot sleep or think without 
pain and effort, and must confess I am in a bad way. John 
Lovell is to be Treasurer in my absence, and my private 
business will be attended to by Tenney. In arranging for so 
long an absence, I want to know your wishes about your own 
balance of account and your brother s debt to me. I could 
not sell his Ogdensburg bonds, for though they were quoted 
high enough, they would not sell. I doubt if there is any 
speculation in them before spring. I can do one of several 
things, as you wish. I can leave your balance on interest as 
heretofore, or (what I should prefer) give you my note for 
the amount with interest, for a year; leaving Col. Butler s 
account also open, and depositing his stock with any broker 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 271 

for sale at a limit which will cover cost and interest. Or I 
can charge your account with the balance he owes me, handing 
over his stock to whomever you may designate. Your ac 
count is $18,922.94 to cr., his is $25,881.85 to dr. 

All I want is to be sure of not being called upon for your 
account in my absence. Or if you are likely to need the 
money soon, I will pay up your account before I go and borrow 
enough money (if I can) on Col. Butler s stock to cover his 
debt. 

I will write to my friend in Montreal to send me your bonds, 
which I will place in Mr. Carney s hands for safe keeping. 

With sincerest good wishes for your health and continued 
good fortune. ^^ ^ ^^ RlCHARD FAY JR 



From General Butler to Simon Cameron 

In the Field, Oct. 19th, 1864 

MY DEAR SIR : Will you not come down and see me wherever 
I may be as soon as the election is over. I have something 
to say to you which I think may be for yours, mine, and the 
country s benefit, and who else do we care for? I congratulate 
the "chairman" on the success of the election. Let me know 
by telegraph when you intend to come. 

Yours truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, October 20th, 1864, 9.50 P.M. 

Lieut. Genl. GRANT, CITY POINT 

YOUR telegram concerning the official despatch of Gen l. 
Lee regarding the prisoners at work in the rebel trenches is 
received. Orders have been issued relieving tonight the 
prisoners at Dutch Gap. A copy of the orders will be sent 
you in the morning. 



From Charles Sumner to General Butler 

BOSTON, 20th Oct., 64 

MY DEAR GENERAL: A young friend of mine, hearing that 
you are about to have a large command of colored troops, is 
anxious to be with them as Adjt. Gen l. or Judge Advocate. 
It is Wm. E. Furness, 1st Lieut, and A-D to Gen l. Gordon. 

Mr. Furness has already seen service in S. C. with colored 



272 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

troops. He was an excellent scholar at Cambridge, and is 
preparing for the bar. I vouch for him in every respect. 

I add that he is the son of my friend, Mr. James T. Furness 
of Philadelphia, and the nephew of Dr. F. and he is a worthy 
son and nephew. I hope that you can do something for him. 
It is rarely I intrude a personal request, but my interest in 
this case is such that I do not hesitate to express my strong 
personal desire that my friend shall be appointed. 

Very faithfully yours, CHARLES SUMNER 

(Endorsed on back) 
Headquarters, Dept. Va. & N.C., December 12, 1864 

Respectfully referred to Brig. Gen l. Gordon to report 
regarding the capabilities and character of the young man. 
Paper to be returned. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

FORTRESS MONROE, VA., Dec. 13, 1864 

Respectfully returned. Lieut. Furness has just been pro 
moted by Major General Butler to be a Capt. in a Colored 
Regt. He has joined his command. I have found Capt. 
Furness an officer of high tone, great energy, and studious 
habits. By diligence he has fitted himself to perform with 
satisfaction all duties upon my staff. I have no doubt he is 
eminently qualified to fill the position indicated by Mr. Sumner. 
Respectfully, GEO. H. GORDON, Brig. Gen l. 

From J. B. Kinsman to General Butler 

Head Quarters, Negro Affairs, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, General 
Superintendent s Office, FORT MONROE, VA., Oct. 20^, 1864 

GENERAL: Secretary Fessenden and his party spent several 
hours here on their return, and while here expressed himself 
as being greatly opposed to the Treasury having anything to 
do with the Negro Affairs, and said the War Department 
could do it much cheaper, and that when Congress met he 
should get the law changed back again. 

I have not been to the Eastern Shore as I intended, and 
shall not go before next week, as the parties are away and 
will then be back, as I understand. 

The windows to the school house will be ready as soon as 
the building is ready to receive them. Mrs. Butler arrived 
at 3| o clock. Ver irul> j B KlNSMAN 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 273 

From General Grant 

CONFIDENTIAL. Head Quarters, Armies of the United States, 

CITY POINT, VA., Oct. 2<Wfc, 1864 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Comd g. Army of the James 

GENERAL: On Thursday morning, the 27th inst., Gen. 
Meade will move from our left with the design of seizing and 
holding the south side railroad. To facilitate this movement, 
or rather to prevent reinforcements going from the north side 
of James River to Petersburg, I wish you to demonstrate 
against the enemy in your front substantially as we talked the 
matter over last evening, and as you proposed. I do not 
want any attack made by you against intrenched and de 
fended positions. But feel out to the right beyond the front 
line intrenched by the enemy, and, if you can, turn it. Have 
your men go with three days rations in their haversacks, 
sixty rounds of ammunition on their persons, and as near 
without wagons and ambulances as it is possible to go. 

It probably will be well to move all transportation, not 
absolutely necessary, with the army to the south side of the 
James. This need not take place before your movement 
of Thursday, but should commence in the morning with 
your movement. 

Let it be distinctly understood by corps commanders that there 
is to be no attack made against defended intrenched positions. 
They should also have their commands fully instructed as to 
the possibility of the enemy moving out from their right on the 
James to attack in flank or rear. This demonstration on the 
part of the enemy is not likely to occur, but should be guarded 
against, and should be taken advantage of if attempted. 

Your cavalry, I believe, is not now well commanded: if it 
was and the opportunity occurred, I would favor sending 
that to the Central road to destroy as much track as possible, 
and return to the James River in rear of your Army. As it is, 
I will leave this to your judgment whether the trip can be 
made. You being present with your army can form a judg 
ment after the first few hours of your movement as to the 
expediency of attempting this. I shall myself be with the 
forces on our extreme left. Such despatches as you may want 
to send to me through the day, or days we may be out, will 
reach me, by courier, from the HdQrs. of the 9th Army Corps. 
I am, Gen. Very Respectfully, 

Your obt. svt. 9 U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen 9 1. 

VOL. V 1 8 



274 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 20, 1864, 3.30 P.M. 

I THINK we can afford a salute of one hundred guns at 
sunset this evening over Sheridan s victory of yesterday. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen l. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, October 20th, 1864, 4.10 P.M. 

Captain G. V. Fox, Asst. Secretary Navy, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

I DESIRE very much six (6) twelve (12) pounder boat how 
itzers for a special service, with their equipments complete 
as well for land as water. 

Please send them to me, and I will forward any sort of 
requisition or receipt that the Navy Department shall think 
necessary. BENJ R BuTLER) Ma j t Gen > L Comd g. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Oct. 20, 64 

DEAREST: We are at home once again. At home what 
a funny term to give to Fortress Monroe! But we are here, 
where we can wash, dress, and rest. I do feel tired, and lone 
some too. I shall not give much time to that feeling the 
children must be bathed and put to bed, and many other 
little things must be done that will take the time till ten 
o clock. I write this now for fear I may grow weary when 
other things are completed and neglect what is of dearest 
moment, a word or two of loving remembrance from day to 
day. Even if you have not much time to notice it, there will 
come a pleasant thought of home and children that may make 
your sleep the sweeter. You, too, will feel lonesome tonight 
unless some new object of interest has started. You did not 
order the pines to be woven in over your tent. That opening 
where the air sweeps in over your shoulders must not be 
neglected. It is wrong to expose your health in that way. 
Col. Dodge told me coming down that he sent you a written 
application in behalf of the man I urged you not to shoot. 
He says his appearance is much in his favor. I hope you will 
think it best to revoke his sentence. To give life to a creature 
trembling on the brink of eternity is a joy few have the chance 
to feel. I had much talk with Gen. Birney. He has lived 
abroad several years. Was a professor in a French Uni- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 275 

versity, and is master of thirteen modern languages. He 
explained to me the way in which they are most thoroughly 
and easily learned. I found him a very pleasant gentleman. 
Goodnight love, I hope you will sleep well in your tent tonight 
(no one to crowd you, no one to pet, no one to tease you). 

Yours, dearest, SARAH 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Oct. 21**, 1864 

MY DEAREST WIFE: I got your note tonight. I was very 
lonely indeed after you went away. I was glad to hear you 
were a little lonely too, if that is not selfish. I heard of your 
all getting along well down to Newport News, so that I knew 
you got home well. Everything here remains as it was pre 
cisely. Sheridan has won a victory of considerable impor 
tance, and we are rejoicing over it. I send you a letter from 
Shaffer which I think will convince you he means well; also 
please find enclosed the story from the London Herald. Of 
all of which I never heard before. It serves to illustrate the 
truth of history. 

I am to have some good coffee in the morning and the 
waffles. Don t you wish you had some waffles? I thank 
you for the coffee but the waffles are my own. Bird pie, 
fried oysters, Welch rarebits are some of the horrors of war 
for today. I shall get so soon as not to be able to stand your 
poor living at the fort. That is the reason why I shall not 
come down. Whenever you want to live well, you will have 
to come up to HeadQ rs. Well, well, if you will not come 
up I must come down. What would you give now for a 
moonlight ride down to Varina, and a snug bed on the boat. 

But you can t have them. 1 

Yours, dearest, BENJ. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Oct. 2lst, 1864 

DEAREST: Did you miss us much? Or, seeing so much of us 
lately, do these letters weary you? Do you know you did not 
say goodbye to me when you left the boat? We might have 
stayed to see Grant, and that had been well, as I have never 
called, as most persons do to show their respect and he would 
like well enough to see me, I know, the children too. It 
would have gratified him. I will not miss the next time. 

We arrived here at three o clock today. I have hunted 



276 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

out the mosquitoes in our sleeping room and slain them. 
Pulled down the bars and made the room very neat. We are 
to have nice mince pies, the meat is now being chopped. 
Would you like one? By Sunday I think you get it. We 
had a long drive this afternoon, through Slab town, out at 
Buckrow and far up the beach. Old parson Cheever hailed 
us at the gate and took the drive with us. We shall use the 
time as best we can, but do what we will it must sometimes 
be lonesome and monotonous. Col. Roberts came in this 
evening. He is a little lengthy and tedious. He says that 
Stanton invited him to go to Newport News, when he was 
here. And they rode eight or ten miles round the country. 
When they were through, Stanton remarked to the Surgeon 
General that he might now go on and build the hospital as 
soon as he pleased, meaning at Newport News. The Surgeon 
replied that he thought in six months the Secretary would 
be satisfied nothing could be better. So it is at Newport 
News or Se well s Point the hospital is likely to be. Dr. 
McCormick went up the day we came down. I write, you 
see, of the items of the day as they come along. Not much 
of the inner life, only that I am, dearest, with love and sym 
pathy in all I do, v 

Yours ever, SARAH 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, October Wnd, 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secy of War 

THE negro recruiting service is now substantially over in 
this Department, so that I think it is not necessary to detain 
an officer of as high rank as Brig. Gen. Wild in that service. 
Have I permission to make such changes as to the recruiting 
officers as I think the good of the service demands? I make 
this application because the appointment of Gen. Wild came 
from the War Dept., and I don t know that I have a right to 
interfere with it. I further desire leave to discontinue the 
one at Newbern. Under the circumstances it is not desirable. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. 

From General Butler 

CIPHER. Ed. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 22nd, 1864, 6.50 P.M. 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

COL. MOORE of the 118th New York was slightly wounded 
in March last. Through the intervention of the Governor 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 277 

he got an order to report to Major General Dix for light duty. 
His present business is stumping the State of New York for 
McClellan. There is but one field officer in his regiment. 
I think his present employment is as arduous as employment 
in the field would be, and he is much needed here. Please have 
him ordered here at once, with directions to Gen l. Dix in case 
he refuses to come, as I think he will, that he be sent here. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From Senator William E. Chandler 

PRIVATE. Union Republican State Committee, CONCORD, N. H., October 22nd, 1864 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Army of the James 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I write you a private note relative 
to our political situation in New Hampshire. Our opponents 
are making a desperate effort to carry the state. Pierce, 
George, and Burke are fraternally laboring to defeat us, and 
our majority will be very small if we save the state. 

Our regimental field and staff officers and privates can 
vote in the field if with their regiment and company on election 
day. We therefore lose the votes of all men in hospital away 
from their regiment, and all staff officers, and all men in the 
Veteran Reserve Corps; unless they are furloughed to come 
home. 

Mr. Rollins has just handed me a letter to him from Capt. 
A. S. Gear, A. Q. M., Head Quarters, 10th Army Corps, 
stating his inability and that of many others to vote without 
being furloughed. 

May we ask of you to grant Capt. Gear a furlough, and allow 
him to furnish you the names of such New Hampshire men as 
may be under your command who cannot vote in the field, 
with a view to their being furloughed if the exigencies of the 
service will admit? 

Messrs. Clarke and Rollins are absent on the stump or they 
would themselves make this request. Connecticut is safe for 
Lincoln, and New Hampshire is to be the battle-ground in 
New England. 

John H. George states boldly, in his speeches on the stump, 
that you told Wm. L. Foster and wife that if Lincoln was 
re-elected the war would last twenty years. The story, although 
injuring us some, having been published in the papers, is 
perhaps of too little consequence to call you aside from the 
pressing duties of the military campaign. It would, how- 



278 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

ever, gratify your many friends here if you would make the 
lie the occasion for a letter. 

George has carried Foster back again to the Copperheads, 
and he is on the stump for McClellan. Judge Perkins and 
the whole family are mortified at his inconsistent course. 
He is in a bad way. 

Excuse me for troubling you. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully yours, WILLIAM E. CHANDLER 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

Sunday evening. FORTRESS MONROE, Oct. 23d, 64 

DEAREST: Only a few words tonight. It is late. Is it 
not provoking company all the evening. Now, I am 
tired and the room is chilly. Blanche has not been up today. 
I gave her a sweat last night. Tomorrow will find her well I 
hope. There are several things I wished to write of, but now 
I cannot sum them up. I must wait for another day. 
Webster and family came today. Harriet was not with 
them. Has Johnson s resignation been accepted? Soon as it 
is, Shepley says, Webster can have the house. Does it depend 
on you? Harriet was sadly disappointed but still hopes to 
come with Fisher. He has found the lost trunk. Are you 
cold in your tent tonight? 

I am in my room. You did not get the mince pie. All 
the boxes are up with you. Send them down if you wish for 
dainties. I find enough to do. But this seems a strange life 
we live. I think you like it. There was no letter today. 
Is there some new thing to do? Whatever it is, let not the 

new wear out the old. ^ 1/f . , 7 

Yours as ever, Most truly, SARAH 

From Assistant Adjutant General BOWERS 
to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 15th, 1864 

THE tenth (10) U. S. Colored cannot be spared from City 
Point at present. By command Lt. Gen. Grant. 

T. S. BOWERS, A. A. G. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

October 25th, 1864 

MY DEAREST LITTLE WIFE: I am determined that nothing 
shall prevent my writing you today so that I write this morn 
ing. Each day something runs in just at the time I am about 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 279 

to write, and interrupts me. And be it known that the mail 
leaves at seven o clock from here, which is pretty early, and 
so you see laziness deprives you of a letter. Not much of a 
deprivation, however, as you will see when you shall read 
this. Although there is something new, yet there is no news. 
And so you are a little lonely well, I suppose so. But 
I am a little cold, although I have that place tightly stopped 
with bushes. I am cold at night and nobody to nestle beside. 

Johnson s acceptance has gone forward. Tell Fisher as 
soon as he conies to come up. 

Very delightful lies, those in the London Standard and 
Herald about my fisticuffs with Parton and the attempt at 
assassination. Tell Webster to see if the Boston Courier 
publishes either of the stories. If so, I will bring them to a 
legal test. They are of the right kind to indict. 

I send one of Fanny Fern s papers enclosed. 

Yours as ever, BENJ. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, October 25^, 1864, 11.40 A.M. 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

TRACING my communication on the subject of brevets, I 
find it left General Grant s office, directed to the War Dept. 
some ten (10) days ago. In that communication and in 
others I have had the honor to recommend the following list 
of officers for promotion to Brig. Gen ls. by brevet, excepting 
1st Lt. Peter S. Michie, whom I desire, for reasons set forth 
and for most meritorious services, should have two (2) brevets 
in the Army, making him Major, as he is assigned Chief 
Engineer of this Army. The reasons for these promotions 
will be found set forth in my written communication in Gen l. 
Order No. - - of this Department. 

Col. Francis A. Ashburn 24th Mass. Vols. 

Col. Alvin C. Voris 67th Ohio Vols. 

Col. N. Martin Curtis 142d N. Y. Vols. 

Col. Alonzo G. Draper 36th U. S. C. 7 

Col. Samuel A. Duncan 4th U. S. C. 7 

Col. Joseph Abbott 7th N. H. Vols. 

Major B. C. Ludlow 4th Mo. Car. 

1st Lt. Peter S. Michie U. S. Engineers. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. 



280 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Captain J. Mclntire 

Office of the Provost Marshal General, Armies operating against 

Richmond, Va., CITY POINT, VA., Oct. 25, 1864 

Major General BUTLER, Com dg. Dept. of Va. & North Carolina 
GENERAL: The following report just received from Head- 
Quarters Army of the Potomac is respectfully transmitted for 
your information: 

"Six deserters received yesterday, representing Archers and Cook s Brigades of 
Heth s Division, Finnegan s Brigade of Mahone s Division, and Ransom s Brigade of 
Johnson s Division. No changes discovered in the enemy s position excepting a 
further extension of works on the right. 

"McGowan s Brigade is on the extreme right of the enemy s infantry line of battle, 
and its right is at a point exactly five miles southwest of Petersburg (from the center 
of the city), and one mile east of the Boydton Plank Road. On the right of McGowan 
are working-parties from the different brigades in Heth s Division, continuing the 
line in a southwesterly direction to the bridge where the Boydton Plank Road crosses 
Hatcher s Run, exactly seven and a half miles due southwest of Petersburg. 

"The dismounted cavalry of the enemy are also employed in constructing works 
on this line which evidently rests on the Burger s Mill Pond or Burger s Dam at 
Hatcher s Run Bridge. This pond is described by residents from the vicinity to be 
nearly a mile long, and hah* a mile wide. It extends northwesterly above Burger s 

" Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, JAS. C. BABCOCK" 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, J. MC!NTIRE, Capt. 
From Smiths Lawyers 

Court of Common Pleas for the City and County of New York, Oct. 25, 1864 
Summons for relief (Com. not Ser.) . 

SAMUEL SMITH & ANDREW SMITH, plffs., against 

BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, deft. 
To the defendant 

You ARE HEREBY SUMMONED and required to answer the 
complaint in this action, which was filed in the office of the 
Clerk of the County of Common Pleas for the City and County 
of New York at the City Hall in said City October 25, 1864, 
and to serve a copy of your answer to the said complaint on 
the subscribers at their office, No. 16 Wall Street, New York 
City, within twenty days after the service of this summons 
on you, exclusive of the day of such service; and if you fail 
to answer the said complaint within the time aforesaid, the 
plaintiffs in this action will apply to the Court for the relief 
demanded in the complaint. 

STANTLEY, LANGDELL & BROWN. 

Plaintiffs Attorneys, 16 Wall St. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 281 

From Lieutenant Colonel BADEAU to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 26, 1864, 9 A.M. 

GEN. GRANT directs me to say Mr. Romero, Minister from 
Mexico, & Gen. Doblado will visit your Hd. Qrs. this morning. 

ADAM BADEAU, Lt. Col. & Mil. Secy. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, October 26^, 1864, 2.40 P.M. 

Col. HOFFMAN, Com. Gen 1. of Prisoners, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

MY agreement with Ould is that we shall give him all the 

invalid prisoners on this side, and he is to fill up with well 

men. I send him no well men until he exchanges the negroes. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 1. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, October IQth, 1864, 2.40 P.M. 

Lieut. Col. MULFORD, FORT MONROE, VA. 

ALL the invalid prisoners on this side are at Point Lookout. 
Take as many of your best vessels as necessary to take about 
three thousand (3000). Inform the Confederate Agent of 
Exchange at Pulaski that there are as many more ready for 
delivery on the Mississippi as soon as the places are agreed 
upon. Col. Hoffman informs me that these are all that are 
here. I will forward your orders in the morning, and save 
you the trouble of reporting here again unless something new 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 
From General Butler 

CONFIDENTIAL. Hd. Qrs. Army of James, Oct. %6th, 1864, 12.25 P.M. 

Lieut. Gen. GRANT, Comd g. &c. 

I TAKE leave to send you a copy of my orders for the move 
ment tomorrow. If you will do me the favor to examine 
them and see if there is anything you object to therein, and 
will notify me, there will be time to change. If you can 
spare him, I should be very glad to have Col. Comstock with 

me tomorrow. T> T -*r n >i n j> 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Coma g. 



282 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

CONFIDENTIAL. Headquarters, Dept. Va. & N.C., 

Army of the James, in the Field, Oct. 26, 1864 

Generals TERRY and WEITZEL, commanding 10th and 18th Army 
Corps, and Colonel WEST, commanding Cavalry Division 

IT is proposed that this Army shall make a demonstration 
upon our right in order, if possible, to turn the left of the 
enemy s entrenched and defended lines. 

It is believed from information and reconnoissance that 
his exterior defended line extends only a short distance to the 
east of the Darbytown Road, certainly not farther than 
the Charles City Road. Therefore it is supposed that if his 
troops are held in his entrenched line by a demonstration in 
his front another column marching free may turn his line, 
and at least force him to retire to his inner line, or to attack 
us in the open field, which is desirable. 

The essay will be made on Thursday, the 27th inst., in 
manner following: Gen l. Terry will withdraw such troops 
as he can spare, leaving sufficient to hold his line. There will 
be sent him nearly two thousand additional troops to those 
on his field return. 

It is presumed that General Terry will thus have a mobile 
column of eight thousand five hundred effective infantry; to 
that will be added two four-gun batteries of artillery. With 
this force General Terry will feel along the enemy s lines to 
the right as far at least as the Charles City road, pushing the 
enemy s skirmish lines, but not attacking their works, except 
in cases hereafter mentioned. 

This movement will be made so as to feel the enemy as 
early as seven o clock A. M. 

While this movement is in progress concealing the march 
of another column, General Weitzel, having withdrawn as 
many men as can be spared from his lines, leaving Fort Burn- 
ham well garrisoned, and sufficient force together with the 
men additional to his field return, say two thousand five 
hundred, and left men enough to hold his lines, will move 
with the remainder of his corps, say seventy-five hundred 
effective infantry, and two four-gun batteries of artillery, 
along Kingsland Road across the Newmarket Road by the 
"Drill Room" to the Darbytown or Central Road. Thence 
up that road to the neighborhood of the Baptist Church, 
then by some of the several large roads across to the Charles 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 283 

City road at a point near White s tavern; then by a road near 
Mrs. Carter s house to the Williamsburg road in a direction 
to bring the head of the column near the enemy s outer line 
of works at Williamsburg road. 

It is assumed that this march will have flanked the enemy s 
defended intrenched line. 

It may be from information which will be given that the 
enemy s line does not extend beyond the Charles City road, 
and that it may be well to shorten the march and attempt to 
turn the line at that point. But that must depend upon 
the state of things existing on arrival there. This march of 
Weitzel s column will bring him within a mile of the rear of 
General Terry s after leaving our lines, in position to support 
him if necessary, so that General Terry can have no hesitation 
in provoking an attack from the enemy at any time. 

In case General W r eitzel succeeds in turning the enemy s 
line, they will either give battle or, as is more probable, make 
for their second line. 

When General Weitzel is at the outer line, either at Williams 
burg or Charles City road, he will be nearer the inner line 
than the enemy either at Newmarket or Darbytown road, 
and a vigorous push may then secure the second line before 
the enemy can reach it. There will be found artillery with a 
small guard in the redoubts on that line, and if we wait (?) 
long enough it w r ill be defended. 

Colonel West with his cavalry will cover the flanks and 
head of Gen l. Weitzel s column, driving in the cavalry pickets 
and scouts, and driving before him Gary s cavalry, so manag 
ing his force as to conceal Weitzel s column, and give the idea 
that his march is but a cavalry reconnoissance. 

Colonel West will report to Gen l. Weitzel after the columns 
join. 

In case the enemy leaves his exterior line for his interior 
line, Gen l. Terry will push him so as to delay him, if he en 
deavors to move to the left (our right), so as to meet the 
march of Weitzel; then Gen l. Terry will so far press the 
enemy as to require his presence in his own front. 

If we should have the good fortune to turn the second line, 
then, if in the judgment of the commander there is a reason 
able prospect of possible success, an attempt may be made 
to pass between or assault the enemy s line of redoubts to 
enter Richmond. The prize is large, and if we are that near, 
the attempt to seize it will justify loss, especially if successful. 



284 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

If in Richmond, the orders given Corps Commanders 
about the 28th September last will govern everything in this 
movement, which, as indeed in most others, depends upon 
celerity and promptitude. 

Therefore the troops will be in light marching order with 
three days rations in their haversacks, sixty rounds of am 
munition in their boxes and on their persons, and blankets 
rolled round them. Fifty rounds per man more of ammuni 
tion will be in wagons to accompany the column. 

All other trains except ambulance trains, which will be as 
few as possible will be sent to the South side of the James, 
and will begin to move in that direction at the same time 
their column moves in the other. The 10th Corps and cavalry 
wagons will move by the Deep Bottom bridge, and to the 18th 
Corps by the Varina bridge. 

Five days rations and fifty rounds of extra ammunition 
will be put on the wagons, lightly loaded, so as to be ready 
to move at the word. 

A strong and vigilant provost guard will follow each column 
to prevent straggling. Line officers must be cautioned that 
straggling depends upon them, and they will be held responsi 
ble for it. 

It may be that the enemy will attack our lines, supposing 
them undefended. That he can only do by abandoning his 
own. In that not very probable, but still possible case, 
Gen l. Terry passing beyond the enemy s line will attack his 
flank and rear with all vigor, being certain of support. 

The enemy has on this side of the James about seven thou 
sand good troops and about as many more conscripts and 
reserves. There need be, therefore, no nervousness about an 
attack from him. Let him come either in flank or in rear, - 
we want him anywhere but in his works. Nor need there be 
any about his receiving reinforcements from the south side. 
Measures have been taken to keep him fully employed there, 
and if he comes here the army of the Potomac will come with 
him. 

Let these facts be impressed first upon Division and Brigade 
Commanders, before the movement commences, and then 
after the march begins upon the Regimental Commanders, and 
thence through the line. Let it be understood that this is to 
be a movement to try to meet the enemy outside of his works, 
and the sooner he comes out the better. 

The Commanding General will be on the right of the column 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 285 

of Gen l. Terry at the beginning of the movement, and will 
keep Corps Commanders advised where his Headquarters 
may be, and will give such further directions as the exigency 
may call for. Corps Commanders will keep the General 
advised of all occurrences by prompt report, carefully noting 
the hour of report. It need not be said to Generals of such 
experience as Generals Terry and Weitzel that unfounded 
and exaggerated rumors are rife on the day of action, and 
therefore that the General expects all reports sent to him will 
have been thoroughly investigated, as he will place implicit 
reliance upon everything reported him as fact by the Corps 
Commanders except he knows to the contrary. 

The Corps Commanders will please send some of the most 
intelligent deserters and prisoners by the speediest means to 
the General, so that he may be early possessed of true stories, 
may compare their statements with his information, and 
govern himself accordingly. 

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

From General Butler to General (Graham ?) 

CONFIDENTIAL. Head Qrs. Army of the James, October %6th, 1864, 1.50 P.M. 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Tomorrow morning I make a move 
ment to the right, and Meade will make one on the left. I 
give you this information so that you may watch your lines 
closely. Keep me informed of all movements of the enemy, 
by courier or otherwise. Have your boats where they will 
do service in case the enemy try you on the left. 

Yours truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 26, 1864, 2.10 P.M. 

YOUR orders are received. They meet the case in hand 
exactly. Col. Comstock has been ordered to report to you. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Genl. 

From General Butler to Lieutenant Fullerton 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 26ZA, 1864 

THE "Greyhound" awaits you at Bermuda. Proceed 
there at once, and report to Col. Dodge, the Quarter Master, 
who will give you the boat. Take on the Hd. Qrs. mail at 
Fort Pocahontas and bring it back with you. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to Colonel Dodge 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, October 26//z, 1864, 3.30 P.M. 

LIEUT. FULLERTON will report to you. When he does so, 
send him on the "Greyhound" to Fort Pocahontas without 
delay. Have him bring back the mail on his return. The 
"Greyhound" will be at his disposal during the trip. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, M aj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Carr 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, October 26^, 1864 

ABOUT five (5) miles from your Hd. Qrs. lives a man by 
the name of Babcock who is needed as a guide. Near him 
lives a man named Major Marraby, Major not being his 
title. They are wanted both as guides, and to be here at the 
earliest possible hour. I send my staff officer after them on 
board of the "Greyhound." Send quick-riding men after 
them with a horse for them to ride. Let the officer who goes 
for Babcock say that Gen l. Marston wants to see him. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, October 26th, 1864, 3.40 P.M. 

Surgeon STORRS, Point of Rocks Hospital 

SEND me under arrest the Captain & Commissary who sold 
the liquor to the man who committed the murder, the order 
on which it was bought, and the book containing the entry of 
the sale. R BUTLER> Ma j Gen ^ C omd g. 



From the Secretary of State to General Butler 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, Octr. 26, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: This note will be handed to you by 

Mr. Ransom Van Valkenburg, a reliable and trustworthy man, 

who comes to the Army to aid in collecting the soldiers vote 

of the State of New York. Pray give him suitable facilities. 

Yours very truly, WILLIAM H. SEWARD 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Oct. 26th, 1864 

MY DEAREST WIFE: No letter last night. I was well and 
properly punished for my neglect in not writing you. I was 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 287 

so ashamed of it that I wrote you yesterday. You will see 
by this that I am up this morning before seven o clock, when 
the mail starts. That is pretty early when it is cold as it is 
now. One day is so like another here as to all things except 
contraband news that I really have nothing to write, save to 
say that I love you dearly and think of you whenever I am 

lonely and need comfort and cheering. Tr 

Yours, BENJ. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Oct. 26tfz, 1864, 11.30 P.M. 

MY DEAREST WIFE: A little time before I go to bed shall 
be devoted to you you who think me forgetful. I wish 
I could forget you and your anxiety for a couple of days. 

In the morning we make a movement both at Petersburg 
and Richmond. Mine, however, is but a demonstration. 
Meade is to take the south side road if he can. 

I have done all I can do, and am about to go to bed to rise 
at 5 o clock, so you see I can beat you at getting up. 

The night before a battle how many thoughts are crowded 
into it. How many a poor fellow is never to see another 
night. The chance of us all, but we will do our duty, and 
the rest is with the Disposer of All. 

Weitzel is to lead the assaulting column if an assault is made. 
Terry moves out w r ith him. I hope to get 20,000 men into the 
fight if we can get a chance. With the exception of these prep 
arations, one day is so like another that I know not what to 
write. I am glad Blanche is better. I hope you will not be so 
lonely now Mrs. Webster is with you. Goodbye, dearest, you 
may not get a w T ord from me for a day or two, or you may, 

but don t be anxious. ^ 

Yours as ever, BENJ. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Oct. 26^, 1864 

DEAREST: I write with hesitancy. These daily notes are 
tedious to you, I fear. If I drop them for a little, they may 
be more agreeable afterward. You may be very much en 
gaged, or not well, and really glad to have a word from me. 
But tonight I feel so uncertain if you care anything about it, 
that I am doubtful, ashamed to forward them, and none 
returned. I will leave this now for another time, and let 
tomorrow pass without one. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Wednesday night. Two letters from you. Both at once. 
Now is it not a shame that I should be so foolish, and think 
you are too busy to care about my writing so often! It is 
not that you have no pleasure in reading my letters, but that 
it is not always easy for you to write. While I have or ought 
to have time enough. Only that now and then some mis 
chievous thought arises that you are weary of it all. Then I 
put down the pen and go away somewhere else. Well, well, 
I do not often think so. You may wonder at the strange 
humility that makes oneself of so little worth. It is not 
affected but very sincere. As humble as I am proud, and 
both are in extreme. I can tell you a sad story. Kidder is 
dead. Died alone, wasted to a shadow. We saw him today, 
laid out in a bare, empty room. I reproach myself that I 
did not see him before he died. Fisher told me he was sick 
but not unto death. I had sent for beef, to make beef tea. 
We were to take it over tomorrow. Far ring ton came this 
morning and said he died last night. Died alone. There 
was a corporal who took care of him, and two or three colored 
people about the house. Poor, lone creature, it was a sad 
ending ! 

"It is a little thing to speak a phrase of common comfort, 
which by daily use has lost its sense, yet on the ear of him 
who thought to die unmourned it will fall like choicest music, 
fill the glazing eye with gentle tears, relax the knotted hand, 
to know the bond of fellowship again, and shed on the de 
parting soul a sense more precious than the benison of friends 
about the honored death-bed of the rich, to him who else 
were lonely, that another of the great family is near, and 
feels." We send him home to be buried in the old graveyard. 
That will detain Fisher a few days longer. I do not know 
what he wishes, but hope his plans will not be lost by being 
detained. I hear a tent has been added to your accommoda 
tions. For us, I shall believe. A stone, bed, and book, are 
enough for me, with a newspaper to put my feet on. These, 
and a pleasant companion (can you furnish the last?) will 
make the time run smoothly, and I most affectionately 

Yours, SARAH 

Yes, dearest, I do feel lonely, very, sometimes, even with 
the children, but I do not mean to yield to it. Goodnight. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 289 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Near Dark/town Road 11th, 9.30 A.M. 

TERRY has advanced to Darby Road, driving in the enemy s 
pickets. Weitzel s column was in Darby Road at 8 o clock, 
where it joins drill near road, in turn, and where he ought to 

be. All going on well. T> T r> n* n >/ 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Head Quarters 17th, DARBYTOWN 

WE have driven in the pickets of the enemy by Terry as 
far as Charles City Road. Weitzel has reached at one forty 
(1.40) P.M. the exterior lines on the Williamsburgh road, and 
finds Field s division in his front. He is going to the right as 
far as Yorktown Railroad to see where the enemy s right rests. 
Field s right rested this morning near the Darbytown road. 
He has extended therefore four miles. Shall I make (attack?) 
on this outstretched line? Casualties few as yet. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler to General Graham 

DARBYTOWN, 12.42 P.M., 11th 

DESPATCH received. File out and find what the enemy are 
about. It is important to know. A reconnoissance in force 
will determine. Be careful, all well here. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Near New Market Road, Oct. 11th, 6.15 P.M. 

Brig. Gen. GRAHAM, Commanding Bermuda Lines 

AT 12.42 today I sent you a telegram in answer to one sent 
me by you that the enemy appeared to be leaving your front, 
to make a reconnoissance in force, and see you have neither 
acknowledged the despatch or told me what you have done 
or learned. Please answer. BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Head Qrs. Near New Market Road, Oct. 11th, 1864 

WE have not been able to turn the enemy s left although 
Weitzel has demonstrated to the left of the Williamsburg 
Road. I have there (fore) ordered him back to the Charles 

VOL. V 19 



290 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

City Road, put one division in the lines between Darbytown 
and Charles City, and massed two divisions with cavalry 
to hold to White Oak Swamp. Terry holds from Darbytown 
to our intrenched lines on the New Market Roads. Have 
you any orders. BENJ 



From General Grant 

CITY POINT, (VA.), October 27th, 1864, 9 P.M. 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, WASHINGTON 

I HAVE just returned from the crossing of the Boydton 
plank road with Hatcher s Creek. Our line now extends 
from its former left to Armstrong s Mill, thence by the south 
bank of Hatcher s Creek to the point above named. No 
attack was made during the day further than to drive pickets 
and the cavalry inside of the main works. Our casualties 
have been light, probably less than 200 killed, wounded, and 
missing. The same probably is true with the enemy. We 
captured, however, 7 loaded teams on the way from Stony 
Creek to the enemy, about a dozen beef-cattle, a traveling 
forge, and 75 to 100 prisoners. On our right General Butler 
extended around well toward the Yorktown road without 
finding a point unguarded. I shall keep our troops out where 
they are until toward noon to-morrow, in hope of inviting an 
attack. This reconnoissance, which I had intended for more* 
points out to me what is to be done. 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 42, Part I, Page 22. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Oct. 11th, (1864) 

DEAREST: So you are once more engaged in action, meaning 
if opportunity offers, I think, to strike a blow if not directly 
ordered. Yes, I shall feel anxiety; there is no help for it. 
One day has already passed. Another, and the work is over. 
It is raining heavily tonight. This will be hard for you. 
If you are beyond your encampment there will be no shelter. 
It is not very cold. There will be some, by this, who will not 
feel if it is hot or cold. How the thoughts change even in 
the course of a day. This morning we were busy and talka 
tive. At one we rode on the beach and gathered mosses for 
an album. As we drove slowly along there came over me a 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 291 

feeling of content, of pleasure stronger than I have felt for 
years. This life is full of beauty and delight, if we are allowed 
to see it. Very often the sight is so obscured by sorrow, 
trouble, or sickness, that only a dull grey surrounding is 
visible, through which we strain our weary sight and see no 
sunshine. Today, it was sweet. Peace, content, and quiet. 
Yet there was no outward sunshine. It has been a soft, hazy 
day. Two or three times there was a light sprinkling while 
we rode. But there was sunshine within, and that made 
the whole world bright. I cannot tell you why I felt this, nor 
did it last very long. But while it lasted I remembered it as 
the daily feeling of years gone by. I hope the precursor of 
happy years to come. 

Tonight comes the herald of battles to start anxious fore 
bodings, but they will not linger long. You are half through 
by this if you have moved. If you have not, you are com 
fortably asleep in your tent, and the rain patters merrily on 
the canvas. That is pleasant; but yet, this room is better 
still, you would find it so if here. 

Yesterday Capt. Cilley dined here, and called today. On 
Saturday Capt. and Mrs. Smith dine with us. She has re 
turned for a fortnight. What word shall I get from you 
tomorrow? Pleasant, if any, I think. Where are you sleeping 
tonight? A spiritualist might tell me. Some day I will 
learn the art if there is anything in it. I ought to be a medium 
if there is anything in it. Goodnight, I have repeated, that 
shows I am weary. A kiss may be repeated with 

Yours most truly, SARAH 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 28, 1864, 8.40 

You may withdraw your troops to their former position. 
The same thing is being done on the left. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen l. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Alice s Farm, near Darby Road, October 28, 1864, 9.15 A.M. 

DESPATCH directing withdrawal of troops received. Orders 
have been issued. BENJ _ R BUTLER; Major . General 



292 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to General Weitzel 

AUee s Farm near Darby Road, Oct. 28th, 9.15 A.M. 

You will withdraw to your former position. I think a 
shorter and better way is to withdraw in the rear of Ames 
line by the nearest road. This movement will be made 
quietly but promptly, covering your rear and flanks. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Oct. 28th, 1864 

GEN. WILLIAMS of California, a particular friend of Gen. 
Halleck, goes up this morning to visit you. He has with 
him his son & three ladies. Will you please send conveyance 
to take them from Aikens Landing? I am sorry that I can 

not accompany them. TT ^ rn^ 

IT. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen I. 

From General Butler 

Oct. 28 [1864], 12.30 P.M. 

Maj. DAVIS, at Gen. BUTLER S Head Qrs. near VARINA 

SEND my ambulance to Aikens Landing for Gen. Williams, 
his son and three ladies. Say I will be there in course of 
afternoon. Show them the lines and every attention. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. 

From the Secretary of War 

WASHN., D. C., Oct. 28, 1864, 8.10 P.M. 

To Major Gen. BUTLER 

THE Surgeon General complains that his two hospital 
transports the "Atlantic" & "Baltic" have been seized by 
your order. This proceeding is irregular, & you will please 
abstain from giving such orders. If there be a necessity for 
your having the transports, application should be made to 
the proper Bureau, so that adequate provisions may be made. 
This can be done in as brief time as an irregular seizure without 
authority. EDWIN M. STANTON, Sec y of War 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 293 

From General Butler 

October 28, 1864 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

I AM aware that I sometimes do things irregularly where 
the exigency requires it, but in the matter of the "Atlantic" 
and "Baltic" I plead not guilty in intention. I made applica 
tion through General Grant, some time since, for those boats 
because competent sea-boats, to take the sick prisoners along 
the coast from Savannah. I understood I was to have them 
when we were ready to go down, and put them in my list in 
making up the necessary transportation. I knew they were 
hospital boats, and certainly should never have used them 
save for a hospital purpose such as this is, to wit: carry sick 
soldiers in case of attack or other emergency. I had not 
intended to do, and did not suppose I had done, anything 
irregular in this matter. Shall I discharge the boats? They 
are the best adapted to that service in point of safety. I 
have others that can with safety run to Norfolk. I have 
none that can be relied on in November, on the coast, in all 
weathers. BENJ R BUTLER, Major-General 

From General Butler 

Oct. 28th, 18C4 

Col. WEBSTER, Chief Qr. Master 

RELEASE the boats of course as ordered, and report the 
facts as follows: The boats were taken as the only safe boats 
in the service fit to carry sick wounded soldiers of the United 
States who have been languishing in prisons for many months. 
They are the only boats fit for that purpose as hospital boats 
on the coast in November storms. The soldiers of the United 
States, sick and wounded in the comfortable hospitals of Fort 
ress Monroe, Gen. Butler thought could wait there before they 
were transported to New York, and the surgeons in charge go 
with them to that City on a pleasure trip, better than could our 
soldiers sick, emaciated, and wounded stay in a filthy southern 
prison and die for want of this transportation, which is not in 
fact employed more than half of the time. If our prisoners die 
in foreign prisons for want of this transportation, their friends 
and countrymen must hold the surgeon-general responsible, 
and not Gen. Butler for the inhumanity. There are plenty of 
boats that can run to New York with safety in these waters. 

Report these facts and all others you may know, and the 
whole matter will be judged of by the Department. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 



294 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From the Secretary of War 

WASHN. D. C.. Oct. 28, 1864, 8 P.M. 

To Major Gen. BUTLER 

YOUR lists of brevets recommended by you reached me 
this morning. I have ordered them to be immediately trans 
mitted. Gen. Wild has been relieved from recruiting service 
& ordered to report to you. 

The recruiting office at Newbern has also been discontinued, 
& the officer ordered to report to you. 

EDWIN M. ST ANTON, Sec y of War 

From Clergymen of the Episcopal Church 

NEW YORK, Oct. 28^, 1864 

To the Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

DEAR SIR: We the undersigned, clergymen of the Episcopal 
Church in this city, beg leave respectfully to call your atten 
tion to the case of the Rev. Henry N. Hudson, Chaplain of 
Col. S. Serrell s Regt. of N. Y. Engineers. We have been 
informed, and believe, that he is at present under arrest, 
and has been in that condition since the 19th day of September 
last, at the headquarters of Major Gen l. B. F. Butler, and by 
order of that officer; that he has been treated with unusual 
severity, and placed among the worst criminals of the army; 
and that, up to the present time, he has not been allowed a 
trial on the charges alleged against him, according to the 
articles of war. Remonstrating against this treatment, we 
respectfully present that Mr. Hudson is known to us to be a 
man of exemplary morals and of irreproachable life; that he 
is a clergyman of the Episcopal Church in good standing, and 
regarded by his brethren with respect and affection; that he 
is a man remarkable for his attainments and cultivation in 
literature, and that his reputation as such is wide-spread 
throughout the country and especially in the first literary 
circles in this city and elsewhere; that he has been from the 
first an ardent patriot, and a devotedly loyal citizen; and 
that he is marked by a simplicity of character which might 
readily involve him in difficulties from his want of knowledge 
of technical questions. 

We are under the impression although no written charges 
have as yet, to the best of our knowledge, after 40 days of 
close confinement, been preferred against him that his 
offence was the overstaying his leave of absence, and failing 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 295 

to report himself at the proper place when ordered to do so. 
If this view of the case be correct, then we beg leave still 
further to represent, and to urge in extenuation, as follows: 
that this was the result of misunderstanding; that Mr. Hudson 
on being ordered to report at his regimental headquarters 
went directly to Colonel Serrell, who was then in New York, to 
obtain information where the said headquarters were; that 
he could get no clear information from him, and supposed 
that in so reporting to him he had in substance obeyed orders; 
that he was then induced to return to be with his wife who 
was then dangerously ill, and had been so since the death of 
his son, whose dying bed he had but just left; that he was 
then taken severely ill himself, and therefore tendered his 
resignation, assigning as a reason for it continued and ob 
stinate ill health, and that the said resignation was received 
and forwarded by his Colonel; that he was subsequently 
ordered peremptorily to report to Maj. Gen. Butler, and was 
then and there, on the day of his arrival at Gen l. Butler s 
headquarters, arrested and imprisoned as described, notwith 
standing that his errors were those of ignorance, inadvertence, 
and perplexity, aggravated by the pressure of severe domestic 
distress and affliction, and by heavy sickness and weakness of 
body. 

We would also represent, that Mr. Hudson is a man already 
considerably past the prime of life; that his health is feeble; 
and that in our judgment there is little probability that he 
can long endure the rigors and privations of his present posi 
tion. We lay these facts before you with full confidence that 
they will meet your earliest attention, and in the hope that a 
harmless and suffering man may speedily be relieved from a 
punishment which is in our judgment unexampled in pro 
portion to the extent and nature of the offence. 

We have the honor to remain 

Very respectfully your obedient servants, 

MORGAN Dix, Rector of Trinity Church 
ED. G. HIGBEE, BENJ. I. HAIGHT, 
FRED H. OGILBY, J. H. WESTON, 
JOHN F. YOUNG, FRANCIS VINTON, 
HENRY A. NEELY, Assistant minis 
ters of Trinity Church 

JAS. H. PRICE, D.D., Rector of St. 
Stephen s Ch., New York 



296 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

JOHN M. FORBES, Associate Minister of 

St. Luke s Ch. 

A. CLEVELAND COPE, Red. Calvary Ch. 
JOHN COTTON SMITH, Rect. of Church of 

Ascension 
THOMAS HOUSE TAYLOR, D.D., Rect. 

of Grace Church, New York 
SAMUEL COOKE, Rect. St. Bartholomew s 

Church 
JOHN McViCKER, President of Standing 

Committee of Diocese of New York 
WILLIAM E. EIGENBRODT, Professor of 

Pastoral Theology in the General 

Theological Seminary in New York 

I concur in the foregoing statement, and have to add that 
the foregoing signatures are genuine in every respect. 

HORATIO POTTER, Bishop of New York 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Oct. Z8th, 1864 

DEAREST: Where are you now? The weather has been 
bad for you. There is a rumour that the eighteenth Corps 
have moved to Fair Oaks. We have no word of any victories 
from the Potomac Army or yours, only, that all have gone 
forward. 

What news shall we get tomorrow? I did hope a line 
would come tonight, though I had no reason to expect it. 
You are too busy, and too far away. 

I sent a longer letter yesterday, but you will have too 
much to think of to pay much heed to it. I did not think to 
write tonight but I am restless and must do something. To 
morrow we have company, it is tedious, but will take up the 
day in part. 

Will you be satisfied with this week s work when it is over? 
I think so. If you act to the extent of your means that must 
content you. Oh, how stupidly I write, my thoughts are 
barred with ribs of steel. My daily life and notes like this 
give no expression of what I am, or what I feel. Nor does it 
matter, it is enough that I am truly and fondly your 

SARAH 

Send a line when it is possible. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 297 

From Citizens 

NEW YORK, October 29, 1864 

To the Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: The undersigned beg leave respectfully to represent, 
that the Rev. H. N. Hudson, Chaplain of the First N. Y. Vols. 
Engineers, was on the 19th day of September last, arrested by 
order of Maj. Gen l. Butler, and placed in close confinement in 
the Provost Guard Prison, near Point of Rocks, Va. where as 
late as the 21st October, inst. he still remained. 

That it is now nearly forty days since such arrest, but no 
written charges had at the above date been served upon him 
as required by law. 

That the alleged cause of his arrest was the over-staying a 
leave of absence to visit his family near Boston, granted to 
him about May 28th by Genl. Gillmore, then his Corps 
Commander, and not obeying an order to return made by 
Gen l. Butler. 

That we are satisfied his offence in this particular was 
excusable, and not owing to any intentional neglect of duty 
or disrespect of authority. 

This leave of absence was granted by reason of the illness 
of his oldest son, who died before his arrival. Leaving his 
wife prostrated by the affliction, Mr. Hudson, on receipt of 
Gen l. Butler s order, reported to his Colonel, then in New 
York on some special service, and asked his directions. The 
Colonel stated that the regiment was much divided and 
scattered, and gave no directions; while hesitating as to his 
duty, Mr. Hudson learned that his wife was seriously ill; 
he returned to her and was himself soon afterward prostrated 
by illness. He had previously been directed by Gen l. Gill- 
more to await instructions from him in New York. In this 
apparent confusion of duties, he undoubtedly failed in strict 
military obedience. He lingered on, hoping to recover his 
strength, but on the 1st September tendered his resignation, 
on the ground of "continued and obstinate ill-health." The 
response to this was a peremptory order from Gen l. Butler 
on the 13th September, on receipt of which he made all haste 
to reach head-quarters, where he arrived on the 19th Septem 
ber, and was at once arrested. We further represent that 
Mr. Hudson is a clergyman in good standing, and has the 
friendship and respect of his clerical brethren; that he is a 
scholar of fine attainments, well and favorably known in the 



298 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

best literary circles, especially in this city and Boston; that 
he is a loyal and faithful supporter of the Government, and 
has, as we believe, labored zealously for the welfare of his 
regiment, by whom he is highly esteemed; and that he has 
many friends who are grieved that the utmost rigor of military 
discipline should be visited on a faithful and sincere public 
servant. 

Mr. Hudson is over fifty years of age, has been nearly 
three years in the service, and his health is now very much 
broken. Nevertheless, though as an officer under arrest 
entitled by law and usage to be confined in his own tent, he 
has been closely imprisoned with rebels and with the lowest 
criminals of our army. He has suffered extremely, and 
cannot, we fear, endure the approaching inclement season. 
Why then, as no charges have been served on him, is he not 
entitled to be discharged? He has written a respectful memo 
rial and explanation to Gen l. Butler, and surely the discipline 
of the army cannot require his further punishment. 

An extract which appeared in the N. Y. Evening Post, May 
24th, from a letter written by Mr. Hudson to the editor, is 
perhaps Gen l. Butler s real grievance. Mr. Hudson, in his 
memorial, explains this matter fully, and his assertion of 
his own innocence of intention, and his assurances that Gen l. 
Gillmore had nothing to do with the matter, we believe to 
be entitled to full credit. We cannot therefore but consider 
it a great hardship if Mr. Hudson should be made the victim 
of any differences between Generals Butler and Gillmore. 

We appeal then to you, Sir, in confidence that you will 
exercise your authority to set Mr. Hudson free. 

All which is respectfully submitted. 

WM. C. BRYANT, HENRY J. RAYMOND, PARKE GODWIN, 
THOMAS McGRATH, WM. CURTIS NOYES, A. A. 
Low, S. B. CHITTENDEN, W. E. DODGE, PETER 
COOPER, T. B. CODDINGTON 

From General Weitzel 

PRIVATE. October 29^, 1864 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Comdg. Army of the James 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I do not wish for a moment that you 
would think that I would not do anything with pleasure and 
to the best of my ability that you desire me to do, and in 
order that you may understand me fully and correctly, I have 
concluded to write this. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 299 

When you first had me appointed a Brig. General I was 
gratified, because I thought I could command a brigade, and 
because my mother being poor and dependent upon me, it 
gave me enough pay to support myself and her too. 

After you left, Gen. Banks always placed me in the most 
responsible and trying positions, and often, especially at 
Port Hudson, gave me a much larger command than officers 
who ranked me. Gen. Franklin did likewise. And you have 
certainly shoved me forward. 

Now, this is all very flattering and satisfactory to me and 
my friends. 

But I often, very often (I tell you frankly) mistrust my 
own abilities. I think you are over-rating me. This very 
feeling made me uneasy and nervous on one occasion, day 
before yesterday, and I thought I would frankly tell you so. 
This is my great objection to being pushed forward so much. 
I want first to feel satisfied that I am capable for the position. 

I will take any one you think I am fit for, in spite of private 
feelings or the opinion of friends and relatives, that you think 
for the good of the country I ought to take. But I don t wish 
to be shoved ahead too fast. 

In every position I may be placed in, I will be so free as 
to tell you when I think you are too sanguine and over-confi 
dent and bold, as I honestly think you are apt sometimes to be. 

Truly yours, G. WEITZEL, Brig. Gen. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

Half past seven in the morning, FORTRESS MONROE, Oct. 29, 1864 

DEAREST: I had determined not to write today. But 
there are a few minutes the sun is shining full into the 
windows the morning is so bright and inviting that I feel 
kindly too, and excuse your forgetfulness. 

Blanche is better will ride out today. The children were 
up before daylight. I have ordered breakfast ten minutes 
before eight, and have only time to say, Good morning, my 
dear, you are a little forgetful. FOMW> g ARAH 



From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army James, Oct. 29th, 1864, 2.50 P.M. 

JOHN H. HACKETT, Esq., Corporation Attorney, NEW YORK CITY 
At what time immediately after election could I have a hear 

ing in the will case? n f /^ >/ n /? 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 1. Coma g. 



300 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 
Army of the James, in the Field, VA., October 30th, 1864 

HENRY J. RAYMOND, Chairman of the National 
Executive Committee, NEW YORK 

SIR: I have delayed answering the note of your committee, 
kindly inviting me to address the citizens of New York during 
the political canvass, in the hope that I might find time when 
my duties in the field would permit me so to do. I find it 
impossible, however, to visit New York without a sacrifice 
of public duties which seem to me imperative. This is a 
source of regret if it is possible that anything I might say 
would influence a single voter in the discharge of the high 
duty which devolves upon him. The contest for the life of 
the Nation is transferred from battle-field to the political 
canvass, and a victory at the polls by those who love the 
Union and are willing its perpetuity should be maintained by 
the bullet if need be, achieved by the Ballot, will go very far 
towards all contest in the field. The struggle of the Rebellion 
is prolonged by the hope of being able to maintain it against 
a divided country, and would cease to-day were it thoroughly 
made known, as I doubt not it will be by the result of the 
election, that the country is harmonious and the Government 
not to be embarrassed by party action. A vote, therefore, 
for the Union is equal to a recruit to the army, and the true 
way for the loyal North to avoid a farther draft on their men 
and means to put down the rebellion is to show a vigorous 
and united determination to supply the Government with 
both, if it becomes necessary to use them. It is an axiom 
of political economy that thorough preparation for war by a 
nation in time of peace will avert war, and it would seem to 
be not less axiomatic that full and thorough preparation to 
carry on war and the appliance of the whole power which the 
Nation possesses will end the war. 

Not meaning to impugn the patriotism or loyalty of many of 
those of my fellow-citizens who will support the Chicago plat 
form in the coming election, I only utter the fullest conviction 
of my judgment in declaring that the action of those who thus 
use their power as electors is more detrimental to the country 
and more beneficial to the rebellion than if they placed them 
selves actively in arms side by side with the rebels in the field, 
and left a united country to sustain the Government and us. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 301 

With these opinions, founded upon a very near view of the 
contest in the field; with means of information scarcely 
enjoyed by any other, the great interest with which in com 
mon with every well- judging soldier in the field I watch the 
contest at home, cannot be surpassed, yet without solicitude, 
for I am unable to conceive that any very considerable number 
of men are willing to abandon their country and their man 
hood at the call of party faction, I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient Servant 



From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

Army of the James, in the Field, VA., October 30th, 1864 

Hon. WILLIAM CLAFFLIN, Chairman of the Republican 
State Convention, BOSTON, MASS. 

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
your complimentary invitation to address the people of Massa 
chusetts at Faneuil Hall upon the issues of the present canvass; 
and should be well pleased, if my duties in the field would 
permit a visit to my home, to confer with my fellow-citizens 
upon the great questions which are to be settled at the coming 
election. Specially am I desirous so to do because I am fully 
convinced that the election determines the place of my country 
among the nations for all coming time, and were it possible, 
as your Committee is kindly disposed to believe, that any 
thing I might do or say in Massachusetts could influence that 
result, it would be my duty, laying aside all else, to repair 
at once to the field, where in my judgment, the whole contest 
will be decided, on the 8th of November. 

But in such a case, if I had such power, I would not go to 
Massachusetts, for "they that are whole need no physician, 
but they that are sick"; and I cannot believe for a moment 
that there can be any considerable portion of the citizens of 
Massachusetts so misled in their judgment, so blinded by 
their prejudices, so unreasoning in their party ties, and so 
unpatriotic in the effect of their misjudged action, as to sus 
tain by their votes the principles enunciated in the Chicago 
Platform. Specially as this canvass differs from every other 
in this, that the life or death of the nation as a power on 
earth depends on the actions of the hour. 

A vote to forget our manhood, to abandon the doctrines of 
our fathers, to give up the hope of republican liberty forever, 



302 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

to check at once and forever the American Nation in its 
great missionary march of civilization, progress, and Christian 
freedom; to abandon the hopes of millions yet to be, can 
never be given by Massachusetts, or the country. 

It is the profoundest conviction of my judgment that such 
is the effect of the vote demanded by those who seek to es 
tablish the principles of the Chicago Resolutions. We are 
asked to yield all our most cherished convictions, to give up 
our principles, to stupify our reason, to abandon the graves of 
our brothers and sons on every battlefield, to proclaim their 
lives a failure and their deaths as nought. 

And for what? To open negotiations with those who refuse 
to negotiate, and to try the not doubtful experiment of meeting 
with diplomacy those armed to the teeth for a fight. To 
make friends with those who have declared themselves enemies, 
and to extend the hand of fellowship and take the hands of 
those who are reeking with our brothers blood. 

This, I will never consent to do. When by repentance 
and works meet for repentance the rebels acknowledge the 
wrong they have done country and mankind, and submit to 
the laws of the country; when they have assumed their con 
stitutional obligations and fulfilled their duties under the 
constitution, then will be the time for them and their friends 
to ask for their constitutional rights. When they come 
bringing the olive branch of peace, let them be received in 
peace. When they come with the rifle and bayonet, let them 
be received in war. 

Thus, I have ever read the glorious legend emblazoned in 
the shield of Massachusetts, "By the sword she seeks peace 
with liberty." 

It has been said by the opponents of the Government that 
the Army vote would decide this contest. I earnestly and 
reverently pray God that it may, for if expressed without the 
intervention of fraud and deceit, it will end the contest by 
about the same majority over the opponents of the Govern 
ment that will be found of the true men in the ranks of the 
army over the skulking in the day of battle. 

In any matter connected with the state issues at home, if 
there are any, there must be still less use of my being with 
you. 

No one can doubt of the re-election of the present executive 
Government of Massachusetts, for I believe no one has ever 
questioned the ability, patriotism, and zealous energy of the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 303 

present Chief Magistrate. Although differing with him in 
some matters of policy and expediency, I have never, nor have 
the people of the Commonwealth ever, questioned either his 
fitness for his position or the ability and integrity with which 
he has sustained it. 

/ have the honor to be, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From Assistant Adjutant General Bowers 

CITY POINT, Oct. 30, 1864 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER 

GEN. GRANT is not at Hd. Qrs. at present. I do not know 
where he is gone, but suppose he went down the river a short 
distance with Gen l Halleck. I will telegraph you on his 

arrivaL T. S. BOWERS, A. A. G. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs., Oct. 3Qth, 2.45 P.M. 

Maj. Gen. TERRY, Comd g 19th Army Corps 

I AM about to leave for Fortress Monroe. The command of 
the forces will therefore devolve immediately upon you. Please 
keep me advised by telegraph of any movement, and in six 
hours I will be here. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

Forward to Gen. Weitzel for his information. 
From General Grant to General Butler 

FORT MONROE, Oct. 3lst, 1864 

WHEN your despatch was rec d I was absent. I would like 
to see you this evening. Your coming down will save me going 

Up U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen. 

From Colonel John E. Mulford 

Copy sent to front. FORT MONROE, Oct. 30th, 1864 

To Major General BUTLER, in field 

"Atlantic and Baltic" arrived here this morning with twelve 
hundred (1200) sick and wounded paroled prisoners on board. 
I am informed by Col. Webster, chief Quartermaster, that 
these vessels are not to be used in this expedition to Savannah. 
There is not a vessel in the fleet suitable to transfer these very 



304 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

sick men to, without these two ships. I shall not have proper 
transportation for more than 800 of our own sick unless other 
vessels are fitted up as hospital ships, which will involve much 
time and expense. Knowing full well the class and condition 
of prisoners I am to receive at Savannah, I am unwilling to 
undertake their transportation with less good hospital accom 
modations than will accommodate 2000 men. There is no 
possible service to perform where they can be so useful as on 
this trip. If they cannot be used, will you please order your 
medical director to fit out some of the transports now here for 
this service? Please direct me what to do. 

JOHN E. MULFORD, Lt. Col., etc. 

From General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Oct. 31s*, 1864 

To Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, 

WASHINGTON, D. C. 

I HAVE 1200 sick men on board the hosp. strs. "Atlantic" 
& "Baltic" ready to sail. I have no fit steamer to which 
to transfer them. I deem it for the interest of the service 
& humanity that the use I design should be made of these 
steamers. I am awaiting an answer to my telegram whether 
they shall be unloaded, & have come to Ft. Monroe for the 
purpose of attending to it. The case will be even worse when 
we receive our own sick & wounded from Georgia. 

BENJ. F. B., Maj. Gen. Comd g 

From General Butler to General Hitchcock 

FREEPORT, Oct. 31, 64 

SIR: I have the honor to enclose a newspaper notice signed 
by True W. Bennett, claiming to be Lt. Col. and acting agent 
of Exchange, dated Exchange Office Hilton Head, in which it 
is said money, preferably confederate bills, gold next, & U. S. 
bills least so, may be sent our prisoners. Also many articles 
that are not allowed by the confederates to be given to the 
prisoners. I was not aware that there was an exchange office 
at Hilton Head or a real agent of exchange there, and therefore 
there can be no acting one. But a few days since I was assured 
by the Secretary of War that the whole question of exchange 
was in my hands. And these interferences embarrass me very 
much. I make one set of necessary regulations and some 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 305 

acting agent makes another. I make one negotiation and he 
makes another. Cannot all this be prevented? "Too many 
cooks spoil the broth " is as true in other matters as in the science 
of gastronomy. Will you have orders sent to Maj. Gen. 
Foster not to interfere. I am just negotiating to have an equal 
supply of clothing & supplies forwarded to the prisoners. 
I understand there have gone down large supplies of clothing 
before the negotiations are completed. I send herewith copies 
of my instructions to Maj. Mulford upon this subject; they 
have met the approval of Gen. Grant as embodying the sub 
stance of the correspondence between himself and Gen. Lee, 
and I hope will meet the approval of the Secretary of War. 
Respectfully yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER, 

Maj. Gen. & Comr. of Exchange 

From Assistant Secretary Dana to General Butler 

CIPHER. WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 1864 

HUGH CROCKER, an agent of Governor Seymour, is now with 
the third (3d) Brigade, third (3d) Division of the tenth (10th) 
Corps, and John F. McQuaid, another such agent and lately an 
Aide-de-Camp to Fitz John Porter, is with the second (2d) 
Brigade of the same Division. There is reason to believe that 
they are engaged in such frauds as have recently been dis 
covered here and in Baltimore. Please have them looked after. 

C. A. DANA, Asst. Sec y. of War 

From Colonel Shaffer to General Butler 

FREEPORT, Oct. 31, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have been doing all I could for the 
election this last week. I cannot endure the labour that I 
would like to perform. I cannot refrain from letting you know 
the feeling of the people. At every meeting the crowd insists 
on my telling something about you. I have arranged several 
things done in N. O. that I think will best illustrate what you 
have done there. Last evening Mr. Tremain of Albany spent 
the evening with me, and he says he can get up a howl for you 
at any time. He has been stumping in the West. He is the 
representative of the War Democracy of N. York and the 
radical young men of the party. He says that N. Y. will 
insist on a radical change in affairs after election and that the 
class he represents are determined to be represented in the 
next administration by you. We will carry Ills, by a handsome 

VOL. V 20 



306 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

maj. I promised Tremain that after the smoke of election 
was well cleared away that I would go to New York with a 
number of our live men and arrange for a general attack front 
and rear on Lincoln for a change. 

I was much pained to see the account of Birney s death. 
I know he was a good soldier, and I now think you will do well 
to let Terry have the 10th corps. He is a good soldier, and 
if he lacks in anything it is in taking the responsibility, but 
as you will be close on the heels of any move you make you 
can help in that direction. I am sure he will be earnest and 
faithful. I see by the papers that Gen l Gordon has been 
ordered to report to Grant. Turner says he is a bad man, 
and hopes you will keep clear of him. I wish you would tell 
Kensel or some of the young men to write me all about affairs 
at the front, for I have lost none of my interest. 

Your friend, J. W. SHAFFER 

From Assistant Adjutant General Breck 

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31st, 1864 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER 

GRANT furloughs of the usual length to all Vermont soldiers 
in hospitals in your Dept., to enable them to vote on the 
(8th) eighth of November. Acknowledge receipt. 

SAM L BRECK, A. A. G. 

From General Grant 

CIPHER. CITY POINT, VA., November 1, 1864, 3.30 P.M. 

Major-General BUTLER, FORT MONROE 

I AM just in receipt of despatch from Secretary of War, 
asking me to send more troops to the City of New York, and if 
possible to let you go there until after election. I wish you 
would start for Washington immediately, and be guided by 
orders from there in the matter. 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 

From General Butler 

CIPHER. WASHINGTON, D. C., Nov. Ind, 1864 

Li. Genl. U. S. GRANT, CITY POINT 

I AM here in obedience to your order. Am ordered to report 
in New York to Gen. Dix. From the state of things as I 
can learn them, we should have at least five thousand (5000) 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 307 

good troops, and at least two (2) batteries of Napoleons. 
There is necessity for haste in getting them. They can easily 
be spared from the 10th & 18th Corps. A show of force may 
prevent trouble. I have directed the Qr. Master at Fort 
Monroe to have ready all transportation there, making use 
of that provided for Col. Mulford except the "Atlantic" & 
"Baltic." 

I would desire that the particular brigades or regiments to 
be sent should be left to the selection of Generals Weitzel & 
Terry. They will have ample enough to hold their lines after 
reliable troops are sent to me. Shall leave tonight for New 

York, Fifth Avenue Hotel. ^ T? r n ? 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. 

From the Secretary of War to General Butler 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, November 2d, 1864 

GENERAL: You will please proceed immediately to New 
York, and report to Major General Dix for temporary duty 
in the Department of the East, and for assignment to the com 
mand of the troops in the Harbor and City of New York that 
may be forwarded by General Grant s orders. 

By order of the Secretary of War 

E. D. TOWNSEND, Asst. Adjutant General 

From General Butler 

CIPHER. Office U, S. Military Telegraph, 
War Department, WASHINGTON, D. C., Nov. 2d, 1864 

Maj. Gen. TERRY, Head Qrs. 10th Army Corps 

in the field near Richmond 

You will be ordered to send troops to me at New York. 
Select those which are reliable. Confer with Weitzel. It may 
be necessary to make composite brigades. Great activity in get 
ting them off will be required. They are supposed to be going 
to Wilmington. B ^ p 



From General Grant to General Terry 

CIPHER. CITY POINT, VA., Nov. 1, 1964, 5 P.M. 

SEND a good large brigade of infantry, with two batteries of 
Napoleon guns, to report to General Butler at New York at 
once. If you have Western troops, they will be preferable. 
Answer what troops you send. 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 



308 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Terry to General Grant 

Headquarters Army of the James, November 2, 1864, 7 P.M. 

I HAVE four Western regiments. In two of these there is 
much dissatisfaction, because, as the men think, their time 
has expired. I do not think they are as much to be trusted 
just now as some others. To make a brigade large, I must 
add regiments to it. Please indicate the number you wish sent. 

A. H. TERRY, Major-General 

From General Terry to Colonel Dodge 

November 2, 1864 

MAKE your estimates for 3,000 infantry. Keep this matter 
as private as possible, and make haste. The artillery will 
move right down to Jones Landing and embark there. 

ALFRED H. TERRY, Brevet Major-General 

From General Butler 

Office of U. S. Military Telegraph, War Department, 

WASHINGTON, D. C., Nov. 2nd, 1864 

Col. WEBSTER, Chief Qr. Master, FORTRESS MONROE 

THE "Atlantic" and "Baltic" will proceed at once with the 
loads to Fort Pulaski. Mulford will go with them, leaving 
the "New York" and the rest of his fleet to be used as trans 
ports for troops to Wilmington, and to be sent after him or 
go back with him, as he may arrange. 

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

From General Butler to Captain Martin 

Nov. 2d, 1864 

You will at once proceed with the "Greyhound" and bring 
the sorrel & roan horses and head Qr. guard, Watson s com 
pany, to New York. They can turn out in good weather 1-2 
dozen of the best orderlies and their horses and report to me 
there. Haggerty, Manning (?), Davenport will come with you. 

Bring my trunk and black suit. Ask Mrs. Butler for it. 
You can come round with her if you choose. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 309 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Office U. S. Military Telegraph, War Department, 

WASHINGTON, D. C., Nov. 2, Wed., 1864 

MY DEAR SARAH: I leave tonight for New York. 1 Martin 
will get ready to go with you directly. I have sent the "Grey 
hound" for my head Q r guard and horses, but you had better 
not go round in her. All well. I don t think there is to be 
much of a shower after all. I am writing in the War Office 
to send down by the "Greyhound" -and haven t time to 
say more than goodbye, dearest wife. -o p B 

From Thomas M. Clark to General Butler 

PROVIDENCE, R. I., Nov. 2nd, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: It is reported in New York, and is 
causing much excitement there, that the Reverend H. N. 
Hudson has been for some weeks confined under circumstances 
of peculiar aggravation, for having failed to report himself 
in due time at Head Quarters. I do not believe one tittle of 
what is said respecting his condition, but I do most earnestly 
beg of you the personal favor, if he is still in confinement, 

to let him go. J7 7 m ^/r ^ 

Very truly yours, IHOMAS M. CLARK 

From George Haupt to General Butler 

Treasury, 3 Nov. 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: I cannot refrain from saying that the 
cloud which for some time has been hanging over me in relation 
to election frauds is this morning dispelled by a knowledge of 
the fact that you have gone to New York. 

Truly Yours, GEORGE HAUPT 

From General Terry 

CIPHER. CITY POINT, Nov. 3, 1864, 9.20 A.M. 

For Major Gen I B. F. BUTLER, N. YORK 

EVERY effort has been made to carry out your orders the 
best troops have been selected and are waiting at the landing 
ready to embark. 

Col. Dodge has, I think, done everything in his power to 

1 Mrs. Butler and her daughter joined General Butler at his headquarters at the 
Hoffman House in New York, where they remained until after the New York election. 



310 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

get transportation, as yet without success. There is none 
here, but he hopes to get it from Fort Monroe. 

ALFRED TERRY, Brev. Maj. Gen L 

From General Butler to General Grant 

CONFIDENTIAL. United Slates Military Telegraph, Nov. 3rd, 1864 

HAVE arrived. No troops here yet. Will you inform me 
when I can expect them and what troops? I believe all will be 
quiet, certainly if there is a force. Did you receive telegram 
from me yesterday? BENJ R BUTLER; Maj ^ 

From General Butler 

CONFIDENTIAL. November 3rd, 1864, 3 o clock 

To EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

HAVE reported to Gen. Dix. He proposes to put me in a 
District composed of the Northern Districts of New York, 
and Vermont. I think I shall be of more use on the James. 
To carry out your ideas the district should be the State of New 
York. Gen. Dix will have all New England and New Jersey 
left. Please settle it. No troops arrived. 

Gen. Dix has issued an order that no military officer is to 
act on the 8th unless called upon by the civil authorities. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From the Secretary of War 

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3d, 1864 

For Gen. B. F. BUTLER, 5th Ave. Hotel 

GIVE teleg. to Gen l Dix, and think the matter will be settled 
now without trouble. 

A teleg. from Gen l. Grant in relation to the troops will be 
forwarded you. 

If there be any departure from the command assigned in 
my orders let me know immediately. 

E. M. STANTON, Sec y. of War 

From Assistant Secretary of War Dana 

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 1864 

Maj. Gen l. BUTLER, 5th Avenue Hotel 

LT. GEN. GRANT reports from City Point that there has 
been some delay in forwarding troops from lack of transpor- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 311 

tation they are now to be sent by Monroe in river boats to 
meet the ocean steamers there. 

The force have been selected by Terry & Weitzel, who have 
taken the best men in their Corps. Several N. Y. regiments 
are included, it being impracticable otherwise to fulfill the order. 

C. A. DANA, Asst. Sec. of War 

From General Grant 

CITY POINT, Nov. 3d 

For Gen I. BUTLER, 5th Ave. Hotel 

TROOPS were ordered from here promptly, (3100) thirty-one 
hundred infantry sent from the 10th & 18th Corps selected by 
their Corps Commanders for their reliability, and (2) two 
batteries as you requested the brigade of regulars had been 
previously ordered from the Army of the Potomac. Want 
of ocean transports has delayed the shipment of these troops 
but the advance of them must reach you tomorrow. All 
quiet in front. n g 



From General Dix 

Head Quarters Department of the East, NEW YORK CITY, November 4, 1864 

Major Gen I. B. F. BUTLER, U. S. Vols. 
GENERAL ORDERS A 7 o. 86 

MAJOR GENERAL BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, having been as 
signed to duty in this Department, will take command of the 
troops which are arriving here to meet existing emergencies, 
and which will be put on service in the State of New York 
subject to his orders. 

By command of MAJOR GENERAL Dix 

CHAS. TEMPLE Dix, Major & A. D. C. Act g Asst. General 

From General Butler 

CIPHER. NEW YORK CITY, Nov. 4, 1864 

Col. B. C. WEBSTER, Chief Qr. Master, FORT MONROE 

Do you need more transportation to New York? Answer 
immediately. B F B 



312 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Quartermaster Webster 

FT. MONROE, Nov. 4, 64 

For Gen l. BUTLER, 5th Ave. Hotel 

I HAVE taken that not actually loaded by Mulford, and have 
plenty for all purposes that I have knowledge of. 

WEBSTER, Col. & Qr. Master 

From J . G. Wilson to General Butler 

109 & 111 Warren St., Nov. 4, 1864 

DEAR SIR: I have just this moment heard a man say that 
a party, whose name he knows, declared that you would be 
assassinated and that he would assist. The first party I am 
acquainted with, and think there will be no difficulty in finding 
the second. 

The first party refused to give the name of the second, but 
I am satisfied he will not refuse if called on by an officer. 

J. G. WILSON 

From J. G. England to General Butler 

Tribune Office, Nov. 4, 1864 

I KNOW Mr. Wilson. He is a respectable merchant in Warren 
St., and I believe eminently trustworthy. He undoubtedly 
believes that thereof he writes. Perhaps it would be well to 
trace the affair. At all events no harm can result from an 
investigation. 

Very respectfully, J. G. ENGLAND, City Ed. N.Y. Tribune 

From Henry W. Bellows to General Butler 

PRIVATE. NEW YORK, Nov. 4, 1864 

GENERAL: Many of our most respected citizens have called 
on me to intercede with you in behalf of the Rev. Mr. Hudson, 
now under arrest by your orders & said to be in close confine 
ment. I am too much of a believer in the necessities of military 
discipline, and know too well the vigor of your methods, to 
presume to ask any relaxation of military law in his case. 
I know nothing of the circumstances & have no judgment about 
the case. I merely offer you from friendly motives the sug 
gestions that he, Mr. Hudson, is a well-known clergyman of 
high literary reputation, and very numerous friends. His 
present position is occupying the attention & exciting the sym- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 313 

pathies of very many influential persons have made powerful 
representations to the War Department in Mr. Hudson s favor. 
It is commonly said here that Mr. Hudson is treated with 
peculiar vigor, & in a manner contrary to military usages in 
similar cases. It is only the respectability of the complaints 
that induces me to ask all the consideration which your urgent 
responsibilities will allow, to this case. Mr. Hudson is a man 
of too much worth & too much importance to make it possible 
for his alleged trials not to occasion a large share of clerical 
& social sympathy and excitement. But I do not, & could not 
conscientiously ask any consideration for him, or any other 
offender, against discipline the vast importance of which I 
fully appreciate except that which justice, wisdom, & 
regulations allow and require. With great respect, I have the 

Yours Truly, HENRY W. BELLOWS 



From A Loyal Man to General Butler 

NEW YORK, Nov 4, 1864 

SIR: Anonymous letters are not usually worth consideration, 
but I beg you to at least read what I am about to say, to 
which as an honest man I would sign my name if I did not 
fear my life would be thereby endangered. 

I am necessarily associated in business with a man who has 
avowed himself to me as a member of the "Minute men," 
of which R. F. Stevens, 105 E 49th St., is commander. This 
man tells me in confidence that these men are all armed, & that 
a project is matured for the seizure of the Navy Yard, Arsenal, 
&c. next week or week after. 

Now, as I was at the Navy Yard yesterday, and saw no 
defensive preparations, & at the arsenal today, where there is 
not even a corporal s guard, I deem it my duty to state these 
facts to you as I learn them. By all means watch Stevens. 

A loyal man 

From Major Bolles to General Butler 

5th Ave Hotel, Friday A.M. (Nov. 4, 1864) 

GENERAL: I called by order of Maj. Gen. Dix to inquire 
of you whether the troops that are coming are supplied with 
tents & camp equipage. And to say that Gen l. Dix will 
be glad to see you either at his Hd. Qrs. between 2 & 3 o clock 



314 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

P.M. today, or here at the hotel soon after 3, as he goes home, 
whichever may be most convenient to you. I am, 

Very Respectfully, Your Obt. Svt., 

JOHN A. BOLLES, Maj. & A. D. C. 

From S. Draper 

Custom House, NEW YORK, Collector s Office, Nov. 4, 1864 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER, 5th Ave. 

MY DEAR SIR: Will you give us a few words at the Mer 
chants Meeting today at 3 o clock in front of the Custom 
House? Your friends ask it. Yows 



From Geo. B. Loring to General Butler 

SALEM, Nov. 4th, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I enclose with this a letter which I 
have been compelled to write in order to prevent all misunder 
standing with regard to my public position. I have declared 
myself in favor of the administration, as the only position which 
can be taken at this time by those who expect and mean to 
have a powerful nation here and a good country. I hope you 
will approve my course. The democratic party still clings 
to its prejudices, and from having been the party of the Union, 
is now the tool of disorganizers, and of the remnants of the old 
line whig party who hope for place through its agency. I 
have held on as long as I could, until I have become shocked 
at the course which the old party has laid down. Wishing 
you God speed in the work before you, I am, 

Truly your friend and servant, GEO. B. LORING 

From Capt. Stimson 

Asst. Qrm s Office, NEW YORK, Nov. 5, 1864 

Maj. Gen 1. B. F. BUTLER, Comd g Troops, &c. NEW YORK 

GEN L. : I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
letter of this inst. I have ascertained that I can meet the 
Supt. of Railway at nine o clock tomorrow, and I shall make 
every possible effort to have the troops move at an early hour 
tomorrow. I am, General, Most Respectfully, 

Your obt. Servt. D. STIMSON, Capt. & Q. M. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 315 

From General Dix to General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the East, NEW YORK CITY, 5 Nov. 1864i 

GENERAL: The 8th U. S. Infy. has arrived & the other Regts., 
one expected every hour. This Regt. of the 14th had about 
480 men, just the force needed at Buffalo immediately. Please 
order these there unless you think some other Regts. will be 
preferable. Gov. Van Vliet has transportation ready. 

Maj. Gen. Peck left for Buffalo this morning. Please direct 
the regiments to report to him. 

Respectfully Yours, JOHN A. Dix, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hdqrs. City of NEW YORK, November 5th, 1864 

GENERAL ORDERS No. 1 

IN obedience to the orders of the President, and by the 
assignment of Maj. Gen. Dix, Comd g. Department of the East, 
Maj. Genl. Butler assumes command of the troops arriving 
and about to arrive, detailed for duty in the State of New 
York to meet existing emergencies. 

To correct misapprehension, to soothe the fears of the weak 
and timid, to allay the nervousness of the ill-advised, to 
silence all false rumors circulated by bad men for wicked 
purposes, and to contradict once and for all false statements 
adapted to injure the Government in the respect and con 
fidence of the people the Commanding General takes occasion 
to declare that troops have been detailed for duty in this dis 
trict sufficient to preserve the peace of the United States, to 
protect public property, to prevent and punish incursions into 
our borders, and to insure calm and quiet. 

If it were not within the information of the Government 
that raids like in quality and object to that made at St. Albans 
were in contemplation, there could have been no necessity for 
precautionary preparations. 

The Commanding General has been pained to see publications 
by some not too- well informed persons, that the presence of 
the troops of the United States might by possibility have an 
effect upon the free exercise of the duty of voting at the ensuing 
election. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

The soldiers of the United States are specially to see to it 
that there is no interference with the election of any body, unless 
the civil authorities are overcome with force by bad men. 

The armies of the United States are ministers of good and 



316 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

not of evil." They are safeguards of constitutional liberty, 
which is freedom to do right, not wrong. They can be a terror to 
evil doers only, and those who fear them are accused by their 
own consciences. 

Let every citizen having a right to vote do so according to 
the inspiration of his own judgment freely. He will be pro 
tected in that right by the whole power of the government if 
it shall become necessary. 

At the polls it is not possible exactly to separate the illegal 
from the legal vote --"the tares from the wheat," but it 
is possible to detect and punish the fraudulent voter after the 
election is over. 

Fraudulent voting in preelection of United States officers 
is an offence against the peace and dignity of the United States. 

Every man knows whether he is a duly qualified voter, and 
he who votes, not being qualified, does a grievous wrong against 
light and knowledge. 

Specially is fraudulent voting a deadly sin and heinous 
crime deserving condign punishment in those who having 
rebelliously seceded from and repudiated their allegiance to this 
government when at their homes in the South, now having 
fled here for asylum, abuse the hospitality of the State and 
clemency of the government by interfering in the election of 
our rulers. It will not be well for them to do so. Such men 
pile rebellion upon treason, breach of faith upon perjury, and 
forfeit the amnesty accorded them. 

There can be no military organization in any State, known to 
the laws, save the militia and armies of the United States. 

The President is the Constitutional Commander in Chief 
of the Militia and Army of the United States; therefore where 
in any portion of the United States an officer of superior rank 
is detailed to command, all other military officers in that district 
must. . . . (The remainder not found) . 

From Assistant Treasurer Stewart to General Butler 

United States Treasury, NEW YORK, Nov. 5, 64 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I want to see you at your earliest 
convenience, in relation to a matter affecting the best interests 
of the Government, and in regard to which I can better confer 
with you here than elsewhere. Please let me know by bearer 
if you can grant me an interview. With great respect, 

Yours, &c., JOHN A. STEWART, Asst. Treas. U. S. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 317 

From "Fair Play" to General Butler 

BOSTON, Nov 5, 64 

SIR: It is reported upon good authority that frauds on an 
extensive scale are contemplated by sending parties to vote in 
Pennsylvania (who will also vote in New York) by the emigrant 
lines of steamers to Amboy & Camden, & that steamers are 
chartered for this purpose already. This can be ascertained, 
& if true, the necessities of the Govt. may require the use of 
these boats for 24 hours. The town of Reading can also be 
looked after by Govr. Curtin. 

Your obt. servt. FAIR PLAY 

P. S. If the scheme above stated is attempted, armed boats 
on the river might stop the steamers & prevent the rascals 
voting in either state, & so catch them in their own trap. 

From Henry Read 

BOSTON, Nov. 5, 64 

BROTHER BUTLER: You are surely in danger of being 
assassinated in New York; your friends here know it, & feel 
it. Keep within, & let your orders be carried into execution 
while you remain inside. You can have no idea of the interest 
felt here in Boston for your safety. I have had dozens come to 
me and urge that I forewarn you to be careful. I know your 
courage, & know that you will run too much risk. Be warned 
by what I say. Others may write you. 

Yours Ever, HENRY READ 

From William H. Merriam to General Butler 

CONFIDENTIAL. BALTIMORE, MD., Nov. 5th, 64 

MY DEAR GENERAL: In the view that you are to command 
at New York, for a time at least, I earnestly and affectionately 
beg to say that I do not want to lose the opportunity of being 
by your side in such a crisis of your history. I therefore frankly 
though confidentially state that I most of all wish to represent 
the Herald at your headquarters in New York, as on the James. 
Should you do me the honor, General, in the event of my con 
jecture being right, to concur in my sincere wish, a private 
word from you to Mr. Hudson will cause him to direct my 
return to you. You will I know, General, pardon my solicitude 
in the matter, when you remember that I desire beyond all 



318 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

other things to be attached to your fortunes so long as I 
remain with the Herald, and when that connection ceases, if 
ever, then will begin the course of that private love, admira 
tion, and esteem, the foundation for which is already solidly 
laid. May I ask you to let me hear from you. I am General, 
Sincerely your friend, WM. H. MERRIAM 

From Colonel Mulford 

Office Assistant Agent for Exchange of Prisoners, 

FORTRESS MONROE, VA., Nov. 6, 1864 

Major-General BUTLER, Commissioner for Exchange etc. 

GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that I am still 
here awaiting transportation for the sick prisoners now on board 
steamers "Atlantic" and "Baltic," and more particularly 
our own men whom I am to receive in return. It would be 
worse than barbarous, General, for me to undertake, in the 
ships now at my disposal, the transportation of those feeble 
and dying men, now anxiously awaiting my arrival at Savannah, 
and whose sufferings are protracted and aggravated, and whose 
mortality is fearfully increased by this needless delay. My 
fleet as organized by yourself was indeed a noble one, for a 
noble purpose; one that would reflect honor upon our govern 
ment and carry joy and gladness to many thousand anguished 
hearts. Of that portion still left me no fault can be found, 
but the most essential part of this expedition is withheld. 
I am, by an order from Washington to Colonel Webster, 
chief quartermaster of this department, deprived the use of 
the only hospital ships in the fleet, and knowing so well as I 
do for what a wretched freight I am to provide on my re 
turn trip, I feel assured you will approve my course in insist 
ing upon some proper provisions being made for the sick before 
I sail. 

I have now here loaded the steamers "Atlantic," "Baltic," 
"Northern Light," "H. Livingston," and "New York," in 
all some three thousand men; have lost over fifty since their 
arrival at this place. One other vessel, the "Crescent," is 
loaded with stores, clothing, etc. 

I have turned over to the quartermaster five of the large 
vessels for transportation of troops. The balance of the fleet 
are still here. Quartermaster-general informed Colonel Web 
ster he had ordered vessels from New York to relieve the 
"Atlantic" and "Baltic." They have not arrived yet, nor have 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 319 

we farther advice of them. Please direct me what to do, and 
believe me, Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, JOHN E. MULFORD 
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Agent of Exchange 

From General Butler 

NEW YORK, Nov. 8, 64 [Not in chronological order] 

Colonel J. E. MULFORD, Assistant Agent of Exchange, 

FORTRESS MONROE, VA. 

START immediately with the "Atlantic" and "Baltic." It 
is by order of the Secretary of War. Do not yield the point 
to anything but armed force, and let General Shepley have 
sufficient force to meet even that. 

B. F. BUTLER, Major-Gen eral Commanding 

From Generals Butterfield, Gardner and Webb 

NEW YORK CITY, Nov. 6th, 1864 
MEMORANDA 

IN accordance with the request of Maj. Gen l Butler, the un 
dersigned have the honor to submit the following for the con 
sideration of the Gen l. Commanding, with the recommendation 
that the carrying out of the details be left to the Comdg. 
Officer of the Troops & Transportation. 

1. The police & the militia forces being loyal, none of the 
U. S. troops to be landed upon the island of New York until 
the failure of the police shall have been reported officially 
& troops shall be called for. 

2. No U. S. troops to be left on transports unsuitable for 
disembarkation at a ferry slip; but these troops to be placed 
upon the best ferry boats, with orders to lie off certain piers 
on the East & North rivers. 

3. The batteries to be placed upon ferry boats, to be limited 
to four guns each (and these to be smooth bore), and to be 
supported by 200 men each detailed from the U. S. troops, 
to be commanded if possible by a field officer, with orders to 
remain with their respective batteries at all hazards. 

4. Communications with Gen l. Head Quarters. The Amer. 
Tel. Co. to be directed to place at the disposal of the Gen l. 
Commanding one wire from the main office, 145 Broadway, 
to the General Head Qrs. 

Four (4) regst. tug-boats (for despatch boats) to be stationed 



320 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

at certain piers on the East & North rivers most convenient 
to Head Quarters. Each of these boats to be under the 
command of a commissioned officer. 

The telegraph offices to be communicated with through 
com. officers detailed for the purpose, to be properly organized. 

5. The shops where arms are to be obtained to be taken 
under the surveillance of the U. S. in case if not to be guarded 
by the militia. 

6. The Regt. armories to be guarded by the Police Com. 
The foregoing memoranda relate to the disposition of the 

U. S. troops under the command of Major Gen l. Butler, in 
case it should be necessary to suppress a riot. 

DANL. BUTTERFIELD, Maj. Gen l. 

G. A. GARDNER, Brig. Gen. N. Y. V. 

ALEX. S. WEBB, Brig. Gen l. Vols. 

From C. E. Frost 

BUFFALO, Nov. (6), 1864 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER, NEW YORK 

SIR: The Govt. have acted wisely in sending Maj. Haddock 
here, it replaces Col. Rogers as Provost Marshal, a man who 
was selected to command one of Gov. Seymour s revolutionary 
regiments, upon whom he makes dependence to keep him in 
office, if his schemes of perjury and forgery work now. With 
a firm, brave man here, Rogers, and such as he is, will do no 
harm. Our Buffalo Copperheads are the meanest of their 
kind, cowardly and pusillanimous, from the Mayor down. 

Will you not take steps to have all the New York regiments 
in the field canvassed, and thereby comparing the results of 
that canvass with the soldiers vote, it will show how many 
of the votes are fraudulent. The thing can be done. If Sey 
mour is selected by fraud, then it will become a duty to grab 
him up and punish him, and inaugurate the rightful candidate. 
We all know you are just the man to take in hand just such 
a case, and look up to you to save us in this crisis. This is no 
time for weak treatment, the Caesarean treatment only will 
meet such cases. It never will do to sit there and see liberty 
put to death by villains, a firm, strong hand will hold the helm 
in time of tempest, and yours is the hand. 

Yours trustfully, C. E. FROST 

P.S. To you, Sir, more than to any other man in America the 
eyes of the people this day are turned, knowing that you have 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 321 

the firmness and the wisdom to serve the country. If anything 
should advise calling for bold, brave action, as if its existence 
should be impeded, then you are not the man to stand idle 
and permit villains to plunder the republic, from any false 
modesty or delicacy. You know what to do and dare do it, 
if any living man, knows and does. F. 

From Edgar Conklin 

PBIVATE. CINCINNATI, O.. Nov. 6, 1864 
Major Genl. B. F. BUTLER, N. YORK CITY 

DEAR SIR: Permit me to ask of you to hand this letter to 
an active member of the Union League of New York, with your 
endorsement of its object, urging immediate action that they 
act each simultaneous with Western people, in urging the 
Govt. to prepare its present testimony as well as get more 
to try & convict Gen. Geo. B. McClellan and his military 
associates for treason. These that pushed them forward in 
the Govt. for promotions to the head of the Army, cooperated 
in that position with Jeff Davis. I know in reason & from 
facts, that with proper efforts & expenditures & money that it 
can be proved that Mac was a member of the Golden Circle, 
and that that body prepared his way for promotion to destroy 
our Army & Govt. 

It can t be possible that a loyal people that has suffered as 
we have from such a conspiracy will quietly subside and allow 
our Govt. to smother up the facts it now has, and neglect get 
ting ahead & know what it may get. We would be unworthy 
of freedom not to ferret it out at any cost, and that quickly 
& effectually, all loyal men should, with their friends urging 
them to petition the Govt., probe this matter to the bottom, 
& then get at the prime movers of the conspiracy. Here was 
where Davis confided so much for final success. Let our 
Govt. atone for its error of keeping traitors so long employed 
by trying them for treason. Let money & tact be expended. 
I could wish you had it in charge. Will you please hand this 
as requested to the other party. I am, 

Very resp y. your friend, EDGAR CONKLIN 

From Captain Manning 

JERSEY CITY, N. J. (Nov. 6), 1864 

To Maj. Gen 9 1. B. F. BUTLER, 5th Ave. Hotel 

WE are here with men & baggage, and await your orders. 

CAPT. MANNING 

VOL. V 21 



322 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

CIPHER. CONFIDENTIAL. Nov. 6th, 1864 

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

GEN. Dix s order puts me in command of the troops arriv 
ing and to arrive, and no territorial command whatever under 
this. I am entirely powerless for good. He says he will put 
me in command of the state as a district when the matter about 
John A. Green s movement is decided. Unless something is 
done effectively gold will be at 300 on the day of election. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From the Secretary of War 

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 64 

For Maj. Gen l. BUTLER, N. YORK 

THE order of Gen l. Dix placing you in command of the 
troops seems to me to be sufficient for the emergency. 

Is there any particular advantage to be derived for assigning 
your command to any geographical district? State the 
details of the command. The proper field of your operation 
can better be determined on the spot by the Comd g Gen l. 
and I have no doubt that Gen. Dix will arrange them in accord 
ance with your wishes and the best interests of the service. 

E. M. STANTON, Sec y. of War 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. y CITY OF NEW YORK, November 7th, 1864 

Admiral PAULDING, Brooklyn Navy Yard 

ADMIRAL: The bearer of this, Captain Babcock, late of the 
United States Signal Corps, reports to you this. 

He will be during Tuesday and Wednesday and until further 
orders at High Bridge, to communicate with the gunboat any 
disturbance. He is an officer of discretion, and upon his judg 
ment I think the officer of the gunboat may safely act. If you 
will put him in communication with the officer of the gunboat 
he will establish such signals by day and night and such means 
of getting together as will be most convenient and expeditious. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 323 

From General Dix to General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the East, NEW YORK CITY, 7 Nov. 1864 

GENERAL: I have had a messenger from Newark, N. J. who 
fears there may be need of aid tomorrow. A knowledge that 
there is adequate preparation will, I have no doubt, suffice to 
keep anything quiet. If you will direct one of the transports 
with troops to be off Jersey City near the terminus of the Rail 
road, communication will be opened with it. 

You will, no doubt, have borne in mind that the N. Y. 
Regts. should all be there, and not be within the N. Y. juris 
diction, as the votes would, in the latter case, be forfeited. I 

Very Respectfully, Your obt. Servt., 
JOHN A. Dix, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Dix to General Butler 

Head Quarters Department of the East, NEW YORK CITY, 7th Nov. 1864 

GENERAL: Major General Sanford has always provided 
guards for the arsenals and armories in the city belonging to 
the State, and it is not desirable to interfere with his arrange 
ments. 

But the Company at the Battery can be of the greatest serv 
ice in guarding a large amount of ordnance stores in the city 
belonging to the United States. I will direct the ordnance 
officer, Captain Crispan, to call on you. If he can have the 
Company at his disposal, it will avoid the necessity of taking 
troops for the purpose from some other point. I have the honor 
to be, Very respectfully, 

Your obt. Servt., JOHN A. Dix, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs., CITY OF NEW YORK, Nov. 7th, 1864 

Maj. Gen 1. Dix, Comd g. Dept. East 

GENERAL: I have a company here as Hd. Qrs. guard. They 
are now at the Battery Barracks. Do you think I had better 
put them in Arsenal? General Sanford has no power to call 
out the militia until after such time as the arsenal would prob- 
ably be attacked. fi R R Mgj 



324 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Colonel Draper to General Butler 

Custom House, NEW YORK, Collector s Office, Nov. 7, 1864 

SIR: I have ordered all the available revenue cutters to be 
placed on each side of the city ready for any requirements 
which your command may demand; I will be at the Custom 
House in case anything occurs to require my presence. 

Your obt. Servt., S. DRAPER, Col. 

From Charles O Connor to Mr. Hamilton 

6 La Fayette Place, Monday, Nov. 7, 64 

MY DEAR SIR: Not intending to vote for either candidate, 
and feeling free from any bias that might mislead the judgment, 
I feel some confidence in my convictions on the matters referred 
to by your favor of this date. 

In my opinion there has never been since our city became 
large and populous less ground to apprehend tumult or disorder 
at an election than there is in reference to that which is to take 
place to-morrow. No serious irregularity can arise unless there 
should be a display of military force in some form quite repug 
nant to existing laws, and quite inconsistent with the main- 
tainance of free institutions. Under these circumstances, 
notwithstanding the high compliment implied in your flattering 
invitation of my supposed influence, I feel that it is quite 
proper in me and respectful of yourself that I should waive 
the proposed interview with the U. S. Commandant of this 
Military District. I am, My Dear Sir, With great respect and 

Your friend and servant, CH. O CONNOR 
From E. W. Dunham 

NEW YORK, Nov. 7, 1864 

To Major General BENJ. F. BUTLER, U. S. A., NEW YORK 

SIR: We rejoice to perceive by your General Order No. 1 
that you are in command here. It inspires universal con 
fidence that the peace will be kept, which has been so openly 
threatened. 

The privations, even unto death, to which our soldier 
prisoners in Rebeldom, from exposure and starvation, have been 
subjected, is a great grief to every loyal man, and we have hoped 
though in vain, for some relief to them. 

Retaliation seems the only remedy ; but we cannot retaliate, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 325 

in kind, on their men. Northern men cannot consent to such 
retaliation. Let me suggest something else. 

Conscript their men, put them in our ranks, and make them 
fight our battles. This may not be in accordance with usage 
among civilized nations; but this is not a war with a civilized 
nation, surely. No such nation would treat their prisoners as 
these Confederate Rebels treat theirs. We are not therefore 
bound to them by ordinary rules. 

If it be said, we cannot trust them, I answer, if placed in the 
companies of the various regiments in the proportion of 1 to 
8 or 10, they not only cannot do mischief, but as men assimi 
late, they may, by being in good company, become loyal men; 
but there can be no hope of their becoming such so long as 
they are herded together with none to enlighten them. 

If they attempt evil or refuse to fight, let us follow the example 
set us by themselves towards Union Conscript in their armies. 
You know w r hat that is better than I can tell you. 

If, again, it be said, they will retaliate by putting the prisoners 
taken from us into their ranks. I answer, be it so done and 
welcome. A happy exchange it would be for our poor fellows 
to go from the Andersonville Swamp to activity, where food and 
clothing w r ould be a necessity, and where escape would at least 
be possible; this at the risk of life. Any change from the 
lingering death before them will be a joyful one to them. 

Your active, keen judgment will see at a glance \vhether 
anything of the kind will be wise, politic, or possible. I can 
only say I think it would be a justifiable retaliation, and if you 
think well enough of it to recommend it to the President, it 
would be more likely to be carried into execution than if going 
from any other person. 

I pray you, General, to pardon the liberty I have taken as 
a stranger in addressing you, even on a public matter, to let 
this be confidential, and to believe that I am with great admi- 
ration & respect. ^ ^.^ s _ ^ w _ 



From Thomas Muldowney to General Butler 

No. 7, 6th St., NEW YORK, November 7, 1864 

I SEE by today s paper that you are in command of this 
disloyal city. I thank God you come to the assistance of all 
Loyal Citizens as you did in New Orleans. I hope you will 
punish the enemys of my adopted country as you did Lewisine 



326 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Adams and others of the vote early and vote often mob. I 
am sorry to say there are plenty of that school of unprincipled 
men here as in New Orleans who deserve your attention. 

I had the pleasure of speaking with you in the St. Charles 
hotel shortly after you came there. You are a terror to the 
Rebel Sympathizers but A Cade Mela Fatha to all loyal and 
law and order loving Citizens. God bless you, and long may 
you and that brave sailor Commodore Farragut live for res 
cuing me and others from the rule of that traitor Davis, is 
the prayer of a loyal Irishman. 

THOMAS MULDOWNEY 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs., CITY OP NEW YORK, November 7th, 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I beg leave to report that the troops detailed for duty 
here have all arrived, and dispositions made which will insure 
quiet. 

I enclose a copy of my order, and I trust it will meet your 
approbation. I have done all I could to prevent the secession 
ists from voting, and think have had some effect. 

I think I may be able to punish some of the rascals for their 
crimes after election. 

All will be quiet here. The State authorities are sending 
from the Arsenal in New York arms and ammunition to Mr. 
John A. Green, Brig. Gen l. at Buffalo, and I am powerless 
to prevent it. 

This is what I mean by wanting "territorial jurisdiction." 
I am in command of troops solely. It is none of my business 
to prevent arms and ammunition being sent to Buffalo. 

This is one of the dozen cases wherein I cannot act without 
colliding with General Dix and the State authorities both. 

I have not landed any of my men save those I have sent to 
Buffalo which are two (2) regiments of regulars and one 
hundred (100) men at Watervliet for Albany. Now, these 
regiments report to General Peck but Peck does not report 
to me. He has some regulars besides those arriving and to 
arrive. 

That is another instance of what is meant by wanting 
territorial j urisdiction . 

I have my three (3) batteries on ferry boats, all harnessed 
up ready to land at a moment s notice at any slip either on 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 327 

North or East River. Gunboats covering Wall street and the 
worst streets in the city, and a brigade of infantry ready to 
land on the Battery, and the other troops placed where they 
can be landed at once in spite of barricades or opposition. 
A revenue cutter is guarding the cable over the North river, 
and a gunboat covers High Bridge on Harlem river, which is 
the Croton Aqueduct. 

I have given you these details so that you may understand 
the nature of my preparations, and perhaps the details may be 
interesting and of use at some other time. 

I propose, unless ordered to the contrary by you, to land all 
my troops on the morning of election in the city. I apprehend 
that if at all there will be trouble then. I have information 
of several organizations that are being got ready under Generals 
Porter, Duryea, and Hubert Ward, disaffected officers, and 
others who are intending if the elections are close to try the 
question of inaugurating McClellan, and will attempt it if 
at all by trying how much of an emute can be raised in New 
York City for that purpose. They propose to raise the price 
of gold so as to affect the necessaries of life, and raise discontent 
and disturbance during the winter, declare then that they are 
cheated in the election by military interference and fraudulent 
ballots, and then inaugurate McClellan. 

Now, that there is more or less truth in this information I 
have no doubt. One thing is certain, that the gold business is 
in the hands of a half dozen firms who are all foreigners or 
secessionists, and whose names and descriptions I will give you. 

You are probably aware that the Government has sold ten 
(10) or twelve millions (12,000,000 of gold) within the past 
twenty (20) days. The Secretary of the Treasury will tell you 
how much, it is none of my business to know but one firm, 
H. J. Lyons & Co., have bought and actually received in coin 
by confession to me more than ten millions (10,000,000) 
within the past fortnight, and his firm is now carrying some 
three millions (3,000,000) of gold. I felt bound to look up the 
case of Gentlemen H. J. Lyons and Co. I sent for Lyons, 
although I suppose I had no right to do so, wanting territorial 
jurisdiction, set him down before me and examined him. His 
story is, as I made him correct it by appealing to my own 
investigations, as follows: His firm consists of himself, his 
brother, and the President of the Jeffersonville Railroad, 
Indiana. He is from Louisville, left there when Governor 
Morehead was arrested, went to Nashville, left there just 



328 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

before the city was taken by the Union troops. Went to New 
Orleans, left there just before the city was taken, went to 
Liverpool, left there, went to Montreal, and went into business; 
stayed in Montreal until last December, came here with his 
brother younger than himself, and set up the brokers business. 
He claims to have had a capital in greenbacks of eighty thou 
sand (80,000) dollars, thirty thousand (30,000) put in by him 
self, ten thousand (10,000) by his brother, and forty thousand 
(40,000) by the other partner. This in greenbacks equal now 
at two forty-five (2-45) to about thirty thousand (30,000) 
dollars in gold. On this capital he was enabled to buy and 
pay for, not as balances but actually in currency, almost twelve 
million (12,000,000) of dollars in gold within the last fortnight, 
and now is carrying about three millions (3,000,000). This 
shows that there is something behind him. 

He confessed that he left Louisville afraid of being arrested 
for his political offences. During the cross examination he 
confessed he was agent for the Peoples Bank of Kentucky, a 
secession concern which is doubtless an agent for Jeff Davis. 
Having no territorial jurisdiction, all I could do was to set 
before him the enormity of his crime, the danger he stood of 
having forfeited his life by rebellion to the Government, and 
to say to him that I should be sorry if gold went up any today 
because as he was so large an operator I should have cause to 
believe that he was operating for some political purpose, but 
that this was a free country and I had no right to control 
him. Does the Secretary of War suppose that if I had an 
actual and not an emasculated command in the City of New 
York, such a rascal would have left my office without my 
knowing where to find him? He said, indeed, when he went 
out, that he thought he should not buy gold any more, and sell 
today all he has. It has got noised around a little that we are 
looking after the gold speculators, and gold has not risen any 
today up to five (5) o clock, the time which I am now writing, 
although Mr. Belmont s bet is that it would be at three hun 
dred (300) before election, and the Treasury is not selling. 

Now what I desire is to spend about a week in which I will 
straighten the following firms which are all the men that are 
actually buying gold: H. J. Lyons and Co., before spoken of, 
Vickers & Co. of Liverpool, an English house, H. G. Fant of 
Washington, H. T. Suit, Washington house, Hallgarten and 
Heryfield, a Baltimore house of German Jews. And also to 
see if some of the rebels that are here cannot be punished. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 329 

Substantially none of them registered under General Dix s 
order. 

I have stated all the reasons why I desire to be here. It is 
respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War, if I am desired 
to do anything at all, to telegraph me what I shall do, and it 
shall be done or please let me return to the front. I have 
the honor to be, Very Respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, BENJ. F. BUTLER, M aj. General 

From the Secretary of War 

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 1864 

For Gen I. BUTLER, NEW YORK 

THE President thinks it expedient to avoid precipitating 
any military collision between the IT. S. Forces and the militia 
of the State of New York, and as Gen. Dix the commanding 
officer of the Dept. does not approve of the order proposed by 
you to be issued in reference to the Militia of the State and 
Gen. Green, the President is of the opinion that it had better 
not be issued. 

If Green under any color or pretence should undertake to 
resist the military authority of the U. S. he then can be dealt 
with as circumstances require without any general order that 
may become the subject of abstract discussion. 

E. M. STANTON, Secy War 

From Julia Gardiner Tyler to General Butler 

Castleton Hill, STATEN ISLAND, Nov. 7, 1864 

DEAR SIR: In our short interview you made mention of 
having preserved from loss, very kindly, with the design of 
returning to me, four cases which were gifts to my husband, 
& which, with everything else he had, he had given to me. 
Permit me to say they could be sent to me by express. My 
address is "Castleton Hill (North Shore), Staten Island." 
I assure you, I am not insensible to your thoughtfulness & 
kind consideration in regard to them. 

As for the flag, to which you referred, are you sure it was 
from my house that the soldiers brought it? Because, as I 
told you, I have no knowledge of it, having neither ever made, 
caused to be made, or purchased one, but I certainly did leave 
a very pretty United States flag that I had been in the habit 
of using at the bow of my boat in going up & down the river, 
& which I highly prized for all its dear associations. Not the 



330 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

least of which was its having been presented me by a Commo 
dore in the U. S. Navy. If it was not also brought to you, I 
fear it shared the fate of other relics. 

Little thinking that my house would be so torn to pieces by 
passing army, any more than in the past, I made no further 
disposition of its contents on leaving to make my home here 
than I would have done in peaceful times. I think you told 
me the Gen l. in command at Fort Pocahontas had preserved 
some of my furniture, or did you say, only, that he made an 
attempt to do so? If the former, may I trouble you to tell me 
how I can preserve it? You can well understand even the 
remains of a once lovely home will possess a certain heart value, 
though of little intrinsic worth. 

The "pass" which I sought of you on Saturday or rather 
in the desire, I meant to express, to know whether the one I 
held, dated in August, would now be available, but which I 
may not, in the embarrassment of the moment, have made 
understood, was for the purpose of going to my place on the 
James, for a day, to bring away what I might find had been 
saved, & I preferred taking the occasion of my maid s return 
to her home if possible. She leaves in a few days by your 
permission. 

Thanking you again for your acts of kindness, I am 

Very respectfully Yours, JULIA GARDINER TYLER 

From Simon Cameron to General Butler 

HARRISBURG, Nov. 7, 1864 

How long, my dear General, will you remain in N. York? 
Will you stop in Philadelphia, or what would be better, can t 
you come this way? It is quite as near from N. Y. to Wash 
ington. 

I go to Phil. Thursday, and if I cannot see you there, or here, 
I will go to you. 

It is my private opinion that Stanton is to go on the Bench, 
and you should take his place. 1 

We will carry the state handsomely, as I telegraphed you 
Wednesday morning. ^ .^ ^w CAMERON 



1 This letter is incorrectly copied in "Butler s Book," Appendix, p. 60, No. 9l. 
The above is correct from the original. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 331 

From General Butler to Simon Cameron 

Nov. 8tk, 1864 

MY DEAR SIR : I may be here some days certainly till 
after Wednesday. If you could come here then, and come to 
the Hoffman House (my Headquarters) , I could make you very 
comfortable, and would be glad to see you. All is quiet here. 
The only thing we have to watch after election will be the gold 
operators, who intend to run up the price till they can so affect 
the price of food and necessaries as to raise discontent amongst 

the laboring classes. v / -D T? -D 

1 ours truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From Henry O Rielly to General Butler 

NEW YORK, 26 Pine Street, Nov. 8, 1864, 9 A.M. 

AMONG the first duties of the day, I most gladly discharge 
the injunction laid upon me this morning by my wife & 
daughters, after I read to them your "General Order No. 1," 
by expressing the satisfaction we all feel in common probably 
with every truly loyal man and woman in the State, that you 
have arrived in New York charged with the duty which we all 
know in advance will be vigorously discharged, of seeing that 
the National Cause suffers no detriment in this locality and 
that the causes of the United States and "the good old flag" are 
not trampled on (as was last year temporarily the case in the 
July riots of this city) by Southern Rebels and their copper 
head Northern sympathizers. With hearty gratitude for your 
devoted services in the good cause of National loyalty. 

Yours Respectfully, HENRY O RIELLY 

From Captain Bronson 

Nov. 8th, 1864, 11 A.M. 

Capt. A. F. PUFFER, A. A. G. Dept. of the East 

CAPTAIN: I am in possession of information, which I think 
is reliable, that a general demonstration will be made by 
the rowdies, &c., sometime after three o clock this P.M. I place 
reliance on the information from the fact that I have been 
advised confidentially to leave the city at three and get to my 
house in Mt. Vernon as soon as possible. Probably you may 
have heard of the same thing, and so this may not amount to 
anything, but for fear that you may not I send this to you. 

Very respectfully Your obt. Servt. 
H. BRONSON, Capt. & A. Q. M. 

In charge of transportation, 19 State Street 



332 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Superintendent John A. Kennedy 

NEW YORK, Nov. Sth, 1864 

M aj. Gen l. BUTLER Commanding CITY OF NEW YORK 

SIR: By one of my detectives, corroborated by a member 
of the staff of Maj. Gen l. Sanford, I learn that no arms or 
ammunition have been sent from the State Arsenal in 7th 
Avenue into the interior of the State since July last; when 
a large quantity of both were transferred to the custody of 
Gen l. John C. Green. 

I also learn by same authority that there are now in the 
arsenal four 12pdr howitzers, and about 1800 stand of arms, 
with but a small quantity of ammunition. 

The arms enumerated include those just deposited by the 
77th Regt. National Guard, who have been on duty at Elmira 
for 100 days, but are not regarded as very reliable. 

There are no packages of any kind in the arsenal to denote 
an intention to remove anything more. 

I also learn that the 7th National Guard have six 4lb howitz 
ers with about 1000 stand of arms at their armory, Tompkins 
Market. 

That the 22nd N. G. have two 12lb howitzers, 1000 Enfield 
rifles (their private property), and 10,000 ball cartridges at 
their armory, Palace Garden, 14th Street. 

Very respectfully, JOHN A. KENNEDY, Supert. 

From James W. White to General Butler 

365 Fifth Avenue, NOD. 8, 1864 

My DEAR GENERAL: In accordance with our arrangement 
of last evening I invited Archbishop McCloskey to meet you 
at my home at seven o clock on Saturday evening (12th inst). 
I told him that you desired to have the pleasure of a half hour 
of private friendly conversation with him, and that I, therefore, 
invited both you and him to come at seven o clock, while the 
other guests are not invited until eight o clock; thus giving 
you an hour undisturbed together. 

By the enclosed note you will see that the Archbishop 
accepts the invitation. Please preserve the note for me. 

I trust, dear General, that nothing will prevent our expected 
pleasure of meeting you that evening. The Archbishop has 
so very kindly acceded to our request that I would greatly 
regret disappointing him, as gentlemen of his ecclesiastical 
dignity are usually very scrupulous in matters of etiquette. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 333 

I am inviting a large number of our other friends to meet 
you at eight o clock. 

Please, General, to extend the invitation for Saturday even 
ing which I have had the pleasure to give you, to such members 
of your staff as you may think proper. They will be all wel 
come to us. I am, General, 

Very Truly Yours, JAMES W. WHITE 

From August De Peyster to General Butler 

STATEN ISLAND, 8 Nov. 1864 

DEAR SIR: You must excuse this liberty of mine. Yester 
day I met an old acquaintance of mine in the city, and not 
being sure I enquired of this my friend if you were in the 
city. "Yes," was his reply, "and if the damn robber attempts 
to interfere at the polls tomorrow I will shoot him; I have a 
pistol in my pocket for that purpose." The person who said 
all of this is William Todd. He is, I think, a New Yorker 
born, and may at once be found in case you wish to see the 
gentleman. You may name me in the matter if necessary. 
I am, very respectfully, 

AUG. DE PEYSTER, Gov. S. S. Harbor 

From the Secretary of War to General Butler 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, Nov. 9, 1864 

GENERAL: Your communication of day before yesterday 
has been submitted to the President, who has directed the 
Secretary of the Treasury to be conferred with on that part 
which relates to the gold conspirators. Your views have 
been explained to the Secretary of the Treasury, and when 
his opinion is received instructions will be sent you by tele 
graph. ^ EDWIN M STANTON, Sec. of War 



From Charles Sumner to General Butler 

BOSTON, 9th Nov. 64, 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I introduce to you the Committee of 
the Young Men s Republican Union friends of mine, ready 
to be friends of yours. They are in earnest & know how to 
work. I hope you will not disappoint them. 

Very faithfully Yours, CHARLES SUMNER 



334 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Frank W. Eallard 

100 Broadway, NEW YORK, Nov. 9th, 1864 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Hoffman House, NEW YORK 

MY DEAR SIR: I am directed by the Board of Control of 
the N. Y. Young Men s Republican Union to invite you to 
address the Union Citizens of New York at a "Jubilee" to 
be held at Cooper Institute on Friday evening llth inst. at 
8 o clock. 

The signal triumph of the Union Cause in the late election, 
and the stinging rebuke administered to rebellion and its 
Northern sympathizers, has suggested the propriety of holding 
one more mass meeting of loyal citizens, where we may mingle 
our rejoicings over the fallen foe and express our gratitude to 
the Giver of this latest and greatest victory. 

It is expected that a sufficient number of speakers will be 
present to make it unnecessary that any one of them should 
be unfairly burdened with the responsibility of "occupying 
the time." Awaiting an early reply. I am, Dear Sir, 

Your obedient servant, FRANK W. BALLARD, 

Cor. Sec y. N. Y. Y. M. R. U. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. CITY OF NEW YORK, Hoffman House, Nov. IQth, 1864 

[Not in chronological order] 

FRANK W. BALLARD, Cor. Sec y. N. Y. Y. M. R. U., 100 B way. 
DEAR SIR: I have the honor to reply to your very compli 
mentary invitation to address your Association at a "Jubilee" 
to be held at the Cooper Institute on Friday evening, and 
would be most happy to accept the invitation did I not think 
that while in military command in this city it would not 
accord with the proprieties of my position to make any public 

address - Very truly yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From M. Dudley Field to General Butler 

86 Gramercy Park, Wednesday evening, Nov. 9 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Allow me to remind you of your en 
gagement to dine with me to-morrow at 6 o clock. Gov. 
Gardiner has engaged to meet you. 

I congratulate you on the result & quiet of the election. 

Very Truly, M. DUDLEY FIELD 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 335 

From George F. Dunning 

U. S. Assay Office, NEW YORK, Nov. 9, 1864 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER, NEW YORK 

GENERAL: With the assurance of my personal respect, 
permit me to give you my thanks for your recent miracle of 
peace to these troubled waters. Though bloodless, it will 
not be regarded as the least of your victories. 

Permit me also to suggest a motto expressive of your style 
of dealing with traitors: "Take time by the forelock." 

Very respectfully, GEO. F. DUNNING, (Supt.) 

From L. P. Nash 

77 C* \ F> Trinity Building, NEW YORK, Nov. 8, 64 

SIR: Permit me to suggest in the case of Chaplain Hudson, 
on whose behalf I forwarded a memorial some days since, that 
the 6th instant was the 48th day since his arrest. By the act 
of July 17, 62, Para. 11, after the expiration of this period, 
in all cases "the arrest shall cease" though the liability to be 
tried remains. 

Hudson s further confinement is therefore unlawful, & 
subjects those engaged to prosecution. I don t mention this 
as a lawyer simply. I have to-day cast my vote for the 
administration, but I am entirely satisfied that thousands of 
votes have been lost from a feeling that the authorities are 
regardless of law, that while engaged in enforcing its authority, 
lawlessness is winked at. You will please not misinterpret 
this suggestion. I sincerely desire to be able to justify all the 
procedure of the Government. I appreciate the difficulty it 
has to contend with, but this case of Hudson s presents itself 
to me in the way of my duty and as w r ell as a citizen as his 
professional & personal friend. 

I appeal to you to give him the benefit of the Act of Congress. 
Very Respectfully Yours., L. P. NASH 

Endorsement of War Department 

Nov. 9, 1864 

Respectfully referred to Maj. General Butler, 

C. A. DANA, Asst. Secy, of War 

November 10, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

RESPECTFULLY referred to Mr. Nash the writer, who will 
see that when the Agents of Government are supposed to do 



336 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

wrong it is better to apply to them for the facts and for redress. 
I fear Mr. Nash has not examined all the law upon the subject 
of military arrests; if he has not he will be disposed to take 
the word of an "older not better" lawyer than Mr. Nash that 
nothing illegal has been done to Chaplain Hudson. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From L. P. Nash 

11 W, I9th St., N. YORK, Nov. 8, 1864 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER, LL. D. 

GENERAL: It gives me much pleasure to receive the copy 
order you propose issuing in Chaplain Hudson s case, & I 
trust for his sake that his imprisonment may have answered 
all the purposes of army discipline. 

With many thanks for your courtesy to me personally, 

1 am> Respy. Yours, L. P. NASH 

From General Grant 

CITY POINT, VA., Nov. 10, 1864, 10.30 P.M. 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

ENOUGH now seems to be known to say who is to hold the 
reins of government for the next four years. Congratulate 
the President for me for the double victory. The election 
having passed off quietly, no bloodshed or riot throughout the 
land, is a victory worth more to the country than a battle 
won. Rebel dom and Europe will so construe it. 

IT. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 

From the Secretary of War 

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 1864, 2 P.M. 

Lieutenant-General GRANT 

ORDERS have been made requesting the immediate return 
of all troops to the field, and the utmost diligence of the de 
partment will be directed to that object. General Dix reports 
that all of Butler s troops except five hundred regulars can 
return. A copy of his despatch is given. Before ordering 
Butler back, I will wait a day until the New York election be 
more definitely ascertained. 

E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 337 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

THE triumph and election of the President, and the indica 
tions of a quiet acquiescence in the result, renders unnecessary 
to detain here the troops under the command of General 
Butler, with the exception of about five hundred regulars now 
in the interior of New York, under General Peck. These I 
should like to detain about a week. As no exigency exists in 
this department requiring the rest to be kept longer away 
from the Army of the Potomac, I deem it my duty to advise 
you promptly that the necessary orders may be given for 

their return. A T\ i^ n i 

JNO. A. Dix, Major-General 

From Loyal Citizens to General Butler 

NEW YORK, November IQth, 1864 

GENERAL: The loyal citizens of New York wish an oppor 
tunity to express their grateful sense of the influence which 
they believe your presence here has exerted in preserving the 
peace of the city during the recent election. 

There are many points in your public life which might well 
elicit such an expression of opinion and gratitude. For this, 
however, there will be ample opportunity when the great con 
flict is over, and the final victory won. 

On behalf of many of our fellow-citizens, we respectfully 
tender you a reception at the Fifth Avenue Hotel on Monday 
Evening, the 14th instant, at eight o clock, where we also ask 
the pleasure of Mrs. and Miss Butler s presence. 

We can then express our thanks, while we exchange heart 
felt congratulations that our country has still a name and a 
place among nations. 

We beg you to ask the attendance of such of your friends 
and officers as shall be agreeable to them and to you. 

We are, Very respectfully, Your obedient Servants, 
GEORGE OPDYKE, MOSES TAYLOR, JNO. A. C. GRAY, ROB T. 
H. McCuRDY, JOHN A. STEWART, MARSHALL O. ROBERTS, 
JAMES Low, WILLIAM T. BLODGETT, AMOS R. ENO, J. 
WILLIAMS, M. W. COOPER, THEODORE TILTON, S. DRAPER, 
M. H. GRINNELL, GEO. W. HATCH, MORRIS KETCHUM, 
PROSPER M. WETMORE, HENRY M. TABEN, H. B. CLAFFLIN, 
B. H. HUTTON, LEVI P. MORTON, HENRY W. BELLOWS, 
JAMES WADSWORTH, HENRY CLEWS, CHARLES GOULD, A. B. 

VOL. V 22 



338 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

CHITTENDEN, C. H. MARSHALL, HENRY A. SMYTHE, NED N. 
CLARKE, WM. CURTIS NOYES, RICHARD SCHELL, GEO. W. 
BLUNT, HENRY WARD BEECHER. 

From Colonel Shaffer to General Butler 

FREEPOHT, Nov. 11, 64 

DEAR GEN L.: I have just received a letter from Col. 
Osborne, 39th 111., asking me to write and have you ask the 
Secretary of War for 300 of 111. conscripts to be sent to the 
39th. 

I find that there is a general feeling here of hope that you 
will get Osborne appointed as Brig. Gen l. I told Col. Main 
that I thought you had recommended Osborne. The smoke 
of election is hardly over. I will visit you as soon as I can 
get some business matters answered. 

Your Friend, J. W. SHAFFER 

From General Butler 

MY DEAR SHAFFER: You have more influence with Uncle 
Abraham than I have. If you wish the appointment of Col. 
Osborne, it is a little Illinois arrangement with which I shall 
not interfere. Hoping to see you here soon, where you will 
find Turner in better health than ever, I remain, 

Yours Truly, B. F. B. 

From Simon Cameron to General Butler 

PHIL., Nov. 11, 64 

DEAR GENERAL: I will be in New York Saturday noon at 
the Astor. Will you please call there, or drop me a note and 
say where I shall call on you? SIMQN CAMERQN 

From General Butler 

CIPHER. Hoffman House, NEW YORK, Nov. llth, 4.05 

Col. TOWNSEND, A. Gen l. , WASHINGTON 

TELEGRAM received. The troops shall be embarked as 
soon as transportation can be had. Have sent for the regulars 
who are on the borders. Your telegram gives me no orders. 
I have some private business which will detain me till Mon 
day. Will the Secretary allow my stay? 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 9 1. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 339 

From the Secretary of War to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, Nov. 11, 1864 

YOUR teleg. of this date to Gen l. Townsend has just been 
brought to my house. 

Gen l. Grant is urgent for the return of your troops quickly. 
The order contemplated your return with them and if not 
specified on the official telegraph was omitted by the inad 
vertence of the Adj. Gen l. 

You have leave to remain till Monday if you desire to do so. 

E. M. STANTON, Sec. of War 

From John A. Stewart to General Butler 

Hoffman House, Saturday morning 

DEAR GENERAL: I have thought it not amiss to advise you 
that the enclosed paper was yesterday served upon me. I 
don t know that it requires any action on my part, but shall 
be pleased to hear from you relative thereto. Please return 

me the attachment. T7 , * c 

Very Truly Yours, JOHN A. STEWART 

Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 

NEW YORK, Oct. 25, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK 
To the Sheriff of the City and County of New York 

GREETING: WHEREAS AN APPLICATION HAS BEEN MADE to 
the officer signing this Warrant, by Samuel Smith and Andrew 
W. Smith Plaintiffs, for an attachment against the property 
of Benjamin F. Butler, Defendant, in an action for damages 
for the taking and conversion of property, and upon such 
application, it duly appearing by affidavit that a cause of 
action exists in said action in favor of the said Plaintiffs 
against said Defendant for the recovery of one hundred and 
fifty thousand dollars damages, and the said affidavit specify 
ing the amount of the said claim, and the grounds thereof, 
and that the said Defendant is not a resident of this state, 
but a resident of the State of Massachusetts, and the said 
plaintiffs having also given the undertaking required by law. 

Now You ARE HEREBY COMMANDED, That you attach and 
safely keep all the property of the said defendant Benjamin 
F. Butler within your County, or so much thereof as may be 
sufficient to satisfy the Plaintiffs said demand of $150,000, 



340 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

together with costs and expenses, and that you proceed hereon 
in the manner required you by law. 

Given under the hand of Albert Cardoza one of the Judges of 
said court at the City Hall, New York City, this 25th day 
of Oct., in the year One thousand eight hundred and sixty-four. 

ALBERT CARDOZA, Judge Com. Pleas 

NEW YORK, Nov. 11, 1864 

STANLEY LANGDELL & BROWN, Plaintiffs Attorneys, 16 Wall St. 
I HEREBY certify the within to be a true copy of the original 
Warrant of Attachment, as served by me in this suit, and 
that the attachment, of which the within is a copy, is now 
in my hands, and that in it I am commanded to attach and 
safely keep all the estate, real and personal, of the said Ben 
jamin F. Butler, the within-named debtor, within my County 
(except such articles as are by law exempt from execution), 
with all the books of account, vouchers, and papers relating 
thereto; and that all such property and effects, rights and 
shares of stock, with interest thereon, and dividends therefrom, 
and the debts and credits of the said Benjamin F. Butler, the 
within-named debtor, now in your possession or under your 
control, are, or which may come into your possession or under 
your control, will be liable to your warrant of attachment, 
and you are hereby required to deliver all such property, etc. 
into my custody, without delay, with a certificate thereof, 
and you are hereby further notified that I attach by virtue of 
the said attachment all deposits, funds, coin, credits, stocks, 
interests, moneys, dividends or other property, in your hands 
or under your control belonging to the said defendant Ben 
jamin F. Butler, or in which he may have any interest, and 
you are hereby required to deliver all such property into my 
custody, without delay, without a certificate thereof. 
Yours, &c., JAMES LYNCH 

Sheriff of City and County of New York, 

FREDK. L. VULTE, Dep. Sheff. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of Virginia & North Carolina, Army of the James, 

in the Field VA., November 2Gth, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: Soon after the capture of New Orleans, I got informa 
tion that Sam Smith & Co. had received from the Director of 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 341 

the United States Mint, who had gone over to the rebels, a 
large amount of silver coin, which through the aid of the Canal 
Bank had been, after the fleet had passed the forts, converted 
into gold, which gold Smith & Co. had in their possession. 
Learning that Smith & Co. were ardent & active rebels, I sent 
for them and inquired if they had then, or had ever received 
the gold such as I have described, or any gold within the 
previous sixty (60) days, or whether they had any such in 
their possession, describing it as two (2) kegs of gold of twenty 
five thousand (25,000) dollars each. This both partners 
upon their oath denied. Their books were then produced and 
no such gold \vas seen, but in their cash book on the day named 
was entered sixty (60) odd thousands dollars worth of lead. 
In some succeeding days the lead appeared at sixty thousand 
(60,000) dollars worth of tin. Upon being confronted with 
their books and the evidence, they confessed to the receipt of 
the two (2) kegs of gold which were being sought for, and that 
that and other specie had been bricked up within a few days 
previous between the outer walls of the building and the 
inner walls of their safe. I at once took possession of the 
money. Soon after, at request of Smith & Co., I submitted 
the question of the seizure to a commission mutually agreed 
upon, composed of Brig. General Shepley, Dr. Mercer, and 
Thomas J. Durant, citizens of New Orleans. After a full 
hearing of the evidence, the commissioner reported there was 
reasonable cause to believe that the gold was exchanged for 
the silver of the United States Mint, and that it was my duty 
to retain the money for instructions of the Government. 
This was done, and I forwarded the report for the action of 
the United States Government at Washington. This was 
done by a report to the Secretary of the Treasury which I 
believe is still on file. 

The Commissioner also reported that certain gold which 
appeared to be the private property of Smith & Co. or of their 
depositors as bankers, amounting to about thirteen thousand 
(13,000) dollars should be returned to them, which was done, 
leaving in my hands the two (2) kegs of fifty thousand (50,000) 
dollars, which I took up on my accounts, and were accounted 
for to the Department as will be seen by my account on file. 
You may possibly remember that when the accounts of my 
administration at New Orleans were settled I called these 
facts to your attention, and in order to secure the rights of all 
parties put a memorandum of them on file with my vouchers. 



342 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Sam Smith & Co. have lately brought a suit against me in 
the Court of Common Pleas in the City of New York to re 
cover the money and damages for taking it. As the money 
was captured by me from a public enemy in a city first captured 
from the enemy, and in my official capacity accounted for to 
the Government, I think it but just that the Government 
should assume the defense of the suit. 

I therefore respectfully ask that counsel should be employed 
by the Government to conduct the suit to its termination, 
if in your opinion or that of the solicitor of the War Depart 
ment there is, as I believe, good cause for holding the money 
as the property of the. United States duly captured from the 
public enemy in war, even if not the property of the United 
States as the proceeds of the money taken by the rebels from 
the United States Mint, or if in your opinion or that of the 
solicitor there is no sufficient ground for retaining the same, 
and that the Government will not assume the defense and 
consequences of the suit, then that the sum may be stricken 
from my accounts, so that I may be able to defend myself or 
adjust the matter with Smith & Co. as I may see cause. 

I earnestly hope however that the United States will defend 
the case and retain the money, which I believe upon every 
ground of public law and proprietary right belongs to them. 

As this suit has been made the ground of public assault 
upon my integrity as an officer through the newspapers, and 
as my silence enforced upon the subject by the regulations of 
the service may lead even good men to misconstructions and 
doubt of the propriety of my action in the premises, I respect 
fully ask leave to publish this official note to the War Depart 
ment in my justification, which as you are aware under the 
regulations without permission I could not do. I have the 
honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From Dexter A. Hawkins to General Butler 

Hoffman House, Nov. 11, 7 1-2 P.M. 

DEAR GEN L. : I called to take you in a carriage to the 
Cooper Institute to the Grand Jubilee over the results of the 
election, but have the misfortune to find you engaged. 

There will be 1000 ladies and at least 2000 gentlemen pres 
ent; all, especially the ladies, desirous of seeing you even if 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 343 

only a few moments. If you return before 10 o clock we should 
be very glad to have you come & say a few words at least to 
the people. 

Direct the man at the entrance to show you directly to the 
platform door. Possibly you may recollect of meeting me 
at the White Mountains a year ago, when we presented the 
ladies to you at Conway & the Notch House. 

Yours Truly, DEXTER A. HAWKINS, 
Vice Prest. Young Men s Republican Union 

From General Dix to General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the East, NEW YORK CITY, 12 Nov. 1864 

GENERAL: I received last night a telegraphic despatch of 
which the following is a copy : 

WASHINGTON, llth Nov. 1864 
Maj. Gen l. Dix 

THE Sec y of War directs that the troops taken by Gen l. Butler be returned to the 
field as promptly as possible. Acknowledge receipt, and report when these troops 
have embarked. 

E. D. TOWNSEND, A. A. G. 

Please embark the troops under your command as speedily 
as possible, and advise me of their embarkation that I may 
comply with the direction of the Secretary of War. I have 
the honor to be, General 

Very Respectfully, Your obt. servt., JOHN A. Dix, 

Maj. Gen 1. ComcTg. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

BY TELEGRAPH from CITY POINT, Nov. 12th, 1864 

I WANT Gen. Dix to keep from the regulars the force he 
deems necessary and send the balance here. 

If any of the regular regiments are sent I want those that 

are the select. TT ^ ,., . ~ , 7 ~ ,, 

U. S. GRANT, Maj. Gen I. Comdg. 

From General Dix to General Butler 

NEW YORK CITY, 12 Nov. 1864 

GENERAL: I have just received your communication of 
this morning in regard to the embarkation of the troops under 
your command. 

I am authorized by the Secretary of War to retain 500 
regulars. I did not intend to retain any. Please consider 



344 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

the authority extended to you for the purpose of meeting the 
exigency at Elmira. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obi. Servt. 
JOHN A. Dix, M aj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From George Wilkes to General Butler 

N. Y., nth Nov. 64 

DEAR GENERAL: Enclosed please find copy of the gold 
article I spoke of. 

You will see I have not developed any particular plan, but 
an essential feature of it is that the Govt. should act secretly, 
and give some one a sort of letter of marque to strip & destroy 
the gold thieves. Any open action will be improved by them 
more readily than by any persons else, and no system of 
hearing will be effectual to deter which does not strip them of 
their plunder. At any rate such is the opinion of 

Very respectfully Yours, &c., GEO. WILKES 

From General Butler 
GEN. ORDER No. 3 

IN taking leave of the command which the exigencies of the 
service has thrown upon him in the State of New York, the 
Major General Commanding cannot refrain from the best of 
justice due to the provisional division under command of Brig. 
Gen l. Hawley from the Army of the James and the regiments 
of regulars from the Army of the Potomac, detailed for the 
special duty, to accord to them his thanks and the thanks of 
the country for their promptness, efficiency, and cheerful good 
conduct in their duties made arduous by the discomfort of a 
sea voyage and confinement on board transports in the most 
inclement weather. The shock of battle would not have so 
much tried their steadiness and soldierly qualities. 

He unites his congratulations with theirs that the law- 
abiding character of the people of the State of New York, and 
the influence of all good men, rendered all other service un 
necessary. 

The Quartermaster & Commissary Staff of the Department 
of the East rendered every service in moving and caring for 
the comfort of the troops. 

To the Gentlemen of his Staff the Commanding General 
gives no commendation because they know that they do their 
duty in all sections. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 345 

To Maj. Gen. Dan l. Butterfield and Brig. Gen. Webb, who 
were detailed in the city upon other duty, and Brig. Gen. 
Gordon, absent from his command on sick leave, who vol 
unteered their valuable assistance in devising, organizing, and 
perfecting the dispositions of the troops, by which the utmost 
effectiveness was secured without any exhibition of force which 
could alarm the timid or give cause of cavil to the disaffected, 
special praise would be due were it not that each did what 
would be expected from their ability and patriotism. Each 
asking not what is assigned for me to do, but what can I do 
for Cause of the Country. 

To the several officers hereinafter named respectively the 
Commanding General acknowledges his obligations, although 
not in actual service, for their prompt action in reporting for 
duty, and most efficiently supervising the several districts 
assigned them, giving valuable aid in transmitting all in 
formation necessary to secure the peace of the community 
and honor of the Country (Here follow names) . 

The Commanding General is grateful for the prompt and 
efficient cooperation of the police of the City of New York, 
always efficient to preserve the peace save against over 
whelming numbers. 

The thanks of the Government are due to the American 
Telegraph Company for putting themselves at the disposal 
of the military authorities, and the prompt transmission of 
intelligence. 

Thanks are given to Mr. Norman Wiard, who tendered his 
steamer, the "Augusta," for the movement of the troops. 

From Yardley Warner to General Butler 

GERMANTOWN, 11 mo. 13, 1864 

THE report of our managers of the Freedman s Aid Society 
of Phila. brings very forcibly to my mind Gen l. Butler s 
plan for the school at Fortress Monroe. It is just what I 
have urged on our managers, but seemed too large an under 
taking in their infancy to handle. Now it is of vital moment 
to start it right. I have a few suggestions to make which I 
could make in writing, but would prefer a more practical way. 
I have been an educator now over 30 years, and in responsible 
positions, having tested the efficacy of the monitorial or 
Lancasterian method. How shall I communicate with thee? 
I could spare a few days about the first of the year, and would 



346 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

be willing to spend them in the school, or in conference with 
its conductors, and without pay, except a free pass to and fro. 
For testimonials I refer to any of the managers, or to any 
prominent members of the Society of Friends in Penna. or 
Ohio. 

Respectfully Thy Friend, The Freedmen s Friend, & a Friend 

of Law & Order Ar ,, 7 

YARDLEY WARNER 

From the Loyal League Committee 

Loyal League of the 19th Ward, NEW YORK, November 14, 1864 

RESOLVED: That in view of the extraordinary degree 
of tranquility and good order that characterized the late 
election in our city a tranquility, quietness, and good order 
unprecedented in our political history. In view of the fact 
that an election for President, Governor, and State Officers 
should be held in this great commercial metropolis, containing 
a million of inhabitants, with large disloyal and disturbing 
elements elements that but one year ago, with far less in 
struments to disturb than now, broke into open revolt against 
the Government of the United States, and filled our city with 
riot, murder, and arson, and even people with fear and con 
sternation. That such an election should now be held, in 
the midst of a gigantic civil war, with a degree of calmness, 
quietness, and good order rarely if ever witnessed upon any 
Sabbath day within the last twenty years. 

We, the members of the Loyal League of the 19th Ward of 
the City of New York, reverently grateful to Almighty God 
that he hath been pleased, in answer to our prayers, in this 
hour of our country s peril, to so order and direct the affairs 
of our Government as to ensure unto us and unto the people 
of our city the blessings of peace and serenity of order and 
tranquility, feel it our duty to give expression in some appro 
priate form to our grateful appreciation of the services of 
those in authority, who have by a timely and faithful exercise 
of the powers committed to them been instrumental in pro 
ducing these beneficent results. 

RESOLVED: That the remarkable, and as we believe 
unprecedented good order, soberness, and quiet which char 
acterized our last General Election in this city, during the 
entire day, are due in some measure to the Police Depart 
ment, for the more efficient enforcement of the law against 
the selling of intoxicating drinks on the day of election. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 347 

Although even that duty was but partially and imperfectly 
performed. 

RESOLVED: That we attribute the preservation of the 
peace and good order of the city on the day of election primarily 
if not exclusively and entirely to the presence of General 
Butler in command of this place. And our gratitude is due 
to the President of the United States for his sagacity and 
promptness in sending to this post a General endowed with 
great executive and administrative abilities, energy, and force 
of character, unyielding firmness, and intensive sagacity, 
whose presence alone gave assurance of protection to the 
loyal and peaceable, and of retributive punishment to the 
disloyal and disorderly. 

It is true that nothing has occurred to call for the visible 
interposition of the military power; but we are not without 
abundant evidence that the knowledge of his presence with a 
power and a will to strike, if occasion demanded, has saved 
us from strains of discord and violence, if not of disloyalty 
and civil war. 

RESOLVED: That a committee of six be appointed to 
call upon General Butler and assure him of our grateful appre 
ciation of his services, while in command at this Post, and of 
our profound respect for him as an Officer and a Man. 

RESOLVED: That the Secretary be requested to transmit 
a copy of these Resolutions to the County League, through 
the Delegates from this Command, with a request that the 
same be read with a view to such further action by that body 
as they may deem advisable. 

The foregoing resolutions were offered by Mr. Bramhall on 
behalf of the Committee, and unanimously adopted by the 
Council. And thereupon the following Committee were 
appointed by the Council to wait upon General Butler, pur 
suant to the 4th resolution, viz : The President, Vice President, 
& Secretary, and Messrs. Bramhall, Butler & Doyl. 

ADDISON BROWN, President of L. L. No. 3, New York City 

S. D. VARSCHAICK (?), Vice President 

JAMES B. RICHARDS, Secretary 

From "True Friend" 

NEW YORK, November 14, 1864 

To Major General BENJ. F. BUTLER 

GENERAL BUTLER : I hear that upon an average you receive 
one anonymous letter a day. I fear that most of them abuse 



348 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

you, but such is not my intention. When a man has done 
his duty I know that the approval of his fellow men cannot 
be otherwise than pleasant to him. General, I desire to say 
that I sincerely love and esteem you as a truly loyal soldier, 
and as a man of the most unequalled administrative ability. 
I would give much to say this to you personally, and to shake 
you by the hand, but I presume that you are over-run by idle 
visitors. 

General Butler, God Bless You. You have the best wishes 
of every truly loyal citizen of this great city, and as for the 
disloyal ones, you are more than a match for them. Would 
to God you could always be in charge of this Department to 
keep these infernal secessionists down to their proper bearings. 

General Butler, May God Bless You, may God Protect 
You. This is from a TRUE FRIEND 

From "Patriot" 

NEW YORK, Nov. 14. 1864 

Major Gen l. B. F. BUTLER, HOFFMAN HOUSE, N. Y. 

DEAR SIR: Now that the people have so overwhelmingly 
spoken in behalf of the Government, has not the time arrived 
when the long-suffering inhabitants of the City of New York 
may hope for some relief from the presence of from 50 to 75000 
traitors in their midst, who like the locusts of Egypt are over 
flowing their hotels, boarding houses, &c., rendering it im 
possible for honest & loyal citizens to find a resting place for 
their heads except at the most exorbitant charges, & even 
then being insultingly told by landlords & boarding house 
keepers that they are quite indifferent to their patronage, 
that "there are plenty of Southerners to be had at their own 
prices," &c., &c.? 

Do the Secesh ladies of Baltimore wish an elegant sword 
to present to some pet guerilla chief (see a recent account of a 
Rebel mail carrier) they have only to order it, or anything 
else they want, through their friends in this city. 

Does Baltimore become too hot for the Rev. Dr. Fawks, - 
a born Southerner and frankly avowed sympathizer with 
the Rebellion from the very first, he just eludes the Provost 
Marshal s grasp, & returns to our midst to plot treason under 
our very noses, is boldly announced as preacher for the winter 
at one of our principal churches (Ch. of the Annunciation), 
where he can of course have an overflowing house & enough 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 349 

to fill a dozen churches from the multitude of Rebels 
quartered upon us, & continue to exert as he has from the 
first, a most baneful & powerful influence against the Govern 
ment & the country. 

Through his advice, the Rev. Mr. White of Rye, West- 
chester Co. (a Baltimorean) , refused to read the war prayers 
prescribed by his church, for which disloyalty he was obliged 
to resign his Rectorship, whereupon he, as by a law of gravita 
tion, takes up his abode in N. Y. to add one more to the 
traitorous thousands already plotting to destroy the very 
Government which is feeding & sheltering them. 

But not to multiply instances, which might be done in 
definitely, this special one being mentioned as that of a person 
whose influence all along has been most pernicious is the 
Government aware that the Head Quarters of Jefferson Davis 
are in the much-abused & long-suffering City of New York? 
Its loyal inhabitants are perfectly willing to take the Oath of 
Allegiance to the Government of the United States, & why 
should not those who are not willing be sent to their own 
place, & the city be relieved from a presence & pressure which 
has become well nigh intolerable? p 

From Goldwin Smith to General Butler 

59 Fifth Avenue, Monday Nov. 14, [1864] 

MY DEAR SIR: I have received a note from Mr. Fearing, 
asking me to meet you at dinner, tomorrow. I do not know 
whether to infer from this that you have changed your plan, 
which you kindly communicated to me, of going to Washing 
ton tomorrow morning. 

Yours very truthfully, GOLDWIN SMITH 

From Charles Butler 

13 East 14 St., Monday morning 14 Nov. [1864] 

MY DEAR GEN L. BUTLER: You are already apprized by 
the note of Professor Goldwin Smith that he has gladly ac 
cepted your kind invitation to accompany you tomorrow 
(Tuesday) morning South, & this evening I shall take him to 
the reception when he will have opportunity of seeing you & 
getting your invitation, y^ Cordially> CHARLES BuTLER 



350 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Grant 

CITY POINT, VA., November 15, 1864 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Army of the James 

As I am about leaving City Point to be absent for five or 
six days, I have just sent instructions to General Meade, of 
which the inclosed is a copy. These instructions contain all 
that is necessary for you if the contingency upon which they 
are based should arise. All that I would add is that in case 
it should be necessary for you to withdraw from north of the 
James, you abandon all of your present lines except at Deep 
Bottom and Dutch Gap. Just occupy what you did prior to 
the movement which secured our present position. Prepara 
tory to this, remove at once within the line to be held all 
heavy guns that cannot be drawn off readily. Open the rear 
of all inclosed works, so that when we want to retake them 
they will not be directed against us. General Barnard, chief 
engineer in the field, by my direction informed the Chief 
Engineer Army of the James of the work to be done in this 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 
Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

CITY POINT, VA., November 15, 1864 

Maj. Gen. G. G. MEADE, Commanding Army of the Potomac 

THE movements now being made by the army under General 
Sherman may cause General Lee to detach largely from the 
force defending Richmond, to meet him. Should this occur, 
it will become our duty to follow. In such case the Army of 
the James will be promptly withdrawn from the mouth of 
the James River and put in the trenches about Petersburg, 
thus liberating all your infantry and cavalry and a sufficient 
amount of artillery. To prepare for such emergency, there 
fore, I would direct that you hold yourself in readiness to 
start in the shortest time, with twelve days rations, six being 
carried on the person, and forty rounds of ammunition in the 
wagons. Select from your command the best batteries to 
accompany you, not exceeding one gun to 1,000 men. It is 
not intended that these preparations shall be made to start 
at a moment s notice, but that the articles shall be where they 
can be reached and loaded and all preparations made for 
starting by the time your troops can be relieved by the troops 
of General Butler, after such movement on the part of the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 351 

enemy is discovered. A copy of this will be forwarded to 
General Butler with instructions to carry out his part 
promptly, moving night as well as day if the contingency 

should arise. TT c ^ T . , , r 7 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-general 

From Colonel White to General Butler 

Head Quarters, Provost Marshal s Office, Eastern Shore of Virginia, 

EASTVILLE, VA., Nov. 15th, 1864 

GENERAL: A number of the most influential citizens of 
this shore have lately called to see me upon a matter of 
some consequence requiring in my opinion a reference to 
you. They wish to repudiate any connection with the so 
called Restored Government of Virginia for the following 
reasons : 

They say that Governor Pierpont has not their confidence, 
that he has done all in his power to excite dissension between 
the military and civil authorities of Virginia, that he repre 
sents a State not entitled to congressional or senatorial repre 
sentation, that to support this farcical Government the people 
of Accomac and Northampton are taxed heavily and unjustly 
- that they infinitely prefer in the present condition of affairs 
to be under Federal rule, and that as a matter of justice to the 
people of this shore who have all taken the oath of allegiance 
and are as a body thoroughly loyal, their wishes should be 
acceded to in this matter. 

They say further, that by a public vote nine tenths of the 
inhabitants of this Shore (population over 12,000) would 
repudiate Pierpont, ask for a military Governor, and remain 
until the close of the war under Federal rule if they were 
assured that they could safely do so, but that the Agents of 
Governor Pierpont have threatened in any such event to 
punish them in the event of your removal, and to obtain the 
influence of the Administration against them. 

They finally say, that if I can assure them of protection 
from you, or in the event of your removal countenance from 
the President, that they will at once, by an overwhelming 
vote, ask that these two counties remain subject only to 
Federal or Military law. 

The Gentlemen who have called on me are of the first 
standing, and can in my opinion be entirely relied on. 

I have avoided committing myself in any way until I could 
learn your wish in this matter any such resolution passed 



352 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

by the people here, would I am satisfied, contain a very thor 
ough endorsement of you, General and your policy. 

I have the honor to remain, Very respectfully, Your obdt. 

FRANK WHITE, Lt. Col. and Provost Marshal 
From Colonel Shaffer to General Butler 

PRIVATE. FREEPORT, Nov. 16, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: The election is over and the Democracy 
is scooped out. I have been keeping quiet since election, as 
I am anxious to get able to go to work at something. 

I see by the papers that Smith has commenced proceedings 
against you for that money. I think you had better see 
Raymond and Greely or Bryant and explain that matter to 
them, as the report goes through the country and does you 
great injury. The fact is that should have been settled long 
ago, when you settled with the War Department was the 
time to have arranged it. You have enemies who quietly 
use these reports. And you must post up such men and 
papers as the above so that they can be prepared to explain 
matters, for they control to a great extent public opinion. 
This question is the only one that can or does hurt you. 

Gov. Morton I have heard is very much opposed to you. 
I don t know him personally, but he told a gentleman some 
weeks ago that should you be mentioned in connection with 
a cabinet appointment, he would oppose you with all his might. 
He says he believes you acted dishonestly in N. O., and I 
have no doubt he believes it. I know while you were there 
he urged your removal. I would suggest that you ask some 
friend to see him and arrange for him to see you, or arrange 
some way by which he can be undeceived, as he is a host in 
the west. While I appreciate your independence about these 
things, I still think you are entirely too careless about these 
matters. Now I don t get scared at everything I hear, but 
this continual and eternal dropping of reports without con 
tradiction makes an impression on the public mind. 

As soon as I get my affairs arranged and get a little stronger 
I will come down and make you a visit. 

Now please do as I suggest in this letter, 

Your friend, J. W. SHAFFER 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 353 

From Steven Thomas 

Headquarters 2d Brig. 1st. Div. IQth A.C., near NEWTOWN, VA., Nov. ISth, 1864 

Major Gen 1. B. F. BUTLER 

MY DEAR GEN L. : Your kind and congratulatory letter of 
the 29 ult. arrived by last mail. I thank you a thousand 
times for your good wishes and kind remembrance of myself 
and the Second Brigade, and especially of the 8th Vt. and 12th 
Conn. I have made known to them your kind wishes for 
them, for which they were much rejoiced to think that you 
should continue your regards for them after so long an absence. 

Gen l., I have watched with much anxiety your course, 
which has had my unqualified approval, indeed your course 
was the only true course by which the rebellion can be speedily 
put down, but I have been pained to see that some who, I 
think, are seeking self aggrandizement, have been trying to 
oppose you and your efforts. I am sure that they cannot 
prevent the people of this great nation from appreciating 
your noble efforts to perpetuate the Gov t., and they will 
surely reward you in the future. Not that I think you are 
making these sacrifices with the view of any other reward 
than to see the Union restored and government maintained, 
for I over and over again stated that as my firm belief in many 
public talks that I gave in Vt. last winter while recruiting for 
the army, and it gave me great pleasure to see that the people 
fully agreed with me. My dear General, I had expected 
before this that I should have been with you again, but I see 
now that that is not to be the case, but be assured no one will 
ever rejoice more at your success or prize more highly your 
good opinion than I shall. 

I have only done my duty, and that I was determined to 
do when I entered the service, which I shall soon leave with 
the gratification of never having been complained of by my 
superiors, to my knowledge. I am 

Very Respectfully, Your Obd t. Servant, STEVEN THOMAS 

From G. V. Fox to General Butler 

CONFIDENTIAL. Navy Department, WASHINGTON 17th Nov. 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I did not have an opportunity to say 
a few words to you yesterday upon a subject that lies very 
near to my heart. The President has not yet determined 
who shall be the Chief Justice; on the contrary, he invites 
that pressure upon himself, which now seems necessary to 

VOL. V 23 



354 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

obtain the great office. Furthermore, I know that a strong 
presentation of Judge Blair s name will result in his success. 
I beg of you, by the long and confidential intercourse which 
has existed between us, wherein on one great occasion, when 
the scales balanced between McClellan s hostility and my 
influence in your favor, I won, that you write a letter in the 
Judge s behalf. He, as you are aware, stood by you before 
the President in our early troubles, and you can now not only 
repay him but put the Blairs under obligations to you that will 
do you no injury in the future. 

If you agree to this suggestion, please write a letter to the 
President and enclose it to me, that I may have the pleasure 
of presenting. 



From General Jourdan 

Head Quarters 1 Brig. 2 Div. ISth Corps, FORT BUENHAM, November 17, 1864 

General WEITZEL, Comd g. 18th Corps 

GENERAL: I have the honor to send you a synopsis of in 
formation hastily gleaned from four deserters who are at present 
en route for your Head Qrs. One of them professes to be 
thoroughly acquainted with affairs in and around Richmond; 
his name is Samuel Forsyth, a Richmond hotel-keeper, but 
more recently a member of the local defences. 

The arsenal bat. 60 men, city bat. 350 men, 10 Va. 600 
men, navy bat. 350 men, reserve bat. 675 men, armory bat. 
125 men, Johnson s brigade 275 men, Pioneer Corps 475 men, 
McNenny s post-office bat. 600 men, Sroggs bat. (Shoemaker s) 
200 men. Colonel Cannon, formerly of the old regular army 
who has charge of planting torpedoes in the James river at 
the mouth of Dutch Gap Canal, made an attempt to plant 
two on last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, but failed, 
they were not planted up to last Tuesday night; they are to 
be planted as soon as possible. Lt. Wagner has been within 
our lines came in on our left and returned on our right at 
Fort Gilmor he is an old hand as a spy. Colonel Hughs, 
Commanding Johnson s brigade is reported to have been 
within our lines about the first week in October, came in 
on the front of the 3rd Div. Every night three boats con 
taining 8 men & one officer from the gun boats proceed with 
muffled oars to the neighborhood of the Dutch Gap. $20,000 
has been offered to any man who will kill Gen l. Butler. A few 
sharpshooters have been detailed for that purpose. They 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 355 

are armed with telescopic rifles. The above amount has 
been subscribed by the former Mayor of New Orleans. 17 
mortars are in my front, 4 10-inch on my left & front, are 
building a very large fort on my left front to cover the 
approaches to Chappin s Bluffs. One of our deserters told 
the enemy that we had one 200 pdr., one 150 pdr. Whitworth, 
and 10 small guns in this fort, also 5 mortars. No troops 
have left for the south. The enemies engineers have ordered 
that the works in my front should be strengthened to resist 
our heavy guns. Kershaw, Hoke, Field, McLaws are on 
our front and left. I also heard that Field had gone to Peters 
burg Kershaw is supposed to be encamped at Bridgewater. 
There is a force of the enemy at Mechanicsville torpedoes 
are planted along their line, enclosed in tin boxes about 5 feet 
apart in double line on my front, planted checker wise extend 
ing the river about 60 of the crew of the gunboats are 
Federal deserters Federal deserters are formed into com 
panies and placed on provost duty in the interior. They 
are casting 15-inch guns as rapidly as possible in Richmond 
for the defences of Wilmington. Are constructing large tor 
pedoes connected by chains for service in the James river. 
They are about the size of a soda water fountain. They 
have sent 22 large torpedoes to Wilmington to be exploded by 
electricity. 

Miss Van Lieu of Richmond sends a message to Gen l. 
Butler by one of these men that she knows that the enemy are 
planting torpedoes on all roads leading to the city and fields 
in front of their line of defences. 

Yours very respectfully, J. JOURDAN, Bvt. Brig. Gen I. 

Head Quarters 18th, Corps, Nov. 27th, 1864 

Respectfully forwarded for the information of the Comd g. 

G. WEITZEL, Major Gen l. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army of James, Nov. 18th, 1864, 3 P.M. 

Brig. Gen. RAWLINS, Chief of Staff 

GENERAL GRANT told me yesterday that an order should be 
issued transferring the colored troops of the ninth (9th) Corps 
to me. 

Please therefore order over two (2) regiments to report to 
General Graham at Point of Rocks, and I will order two (2) 



356 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

regiments of the Provisional Brigade to report to Gen l. Parkes 
as soon as the colored regiments arrive. 

I ask this movement in this form in view of the threatened 
attack on Bermuda Line. Please order them tonight. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, M aj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From James Parton to General Butler 

NEW YORK, 835 Broadway, Nov. I9th, 1884 

MY DEAR GENERAL: In vain I tried, during your last day 
here, to report to you that your commands were obeyed, and 
that I had done all in my power to hinder from doing more 
harm the incomparable liar of the Evening Standard. 

Behold the enclosed note of Mr. Carney. I have delivered 
the papers to your investigator, and supplied him with the 
name and address of a person in London who will be likely 
to know the man. 

Your speech at the Hotel has made a real sensation. It takes 
from the democrats all their thunder and transfers it to the side 
of the administration. Mr. Nicholas T. Trist writes to me of it 
thus: "Here again he has made his mark. How many of them 
since Contraband, calling that No. 1? Oh! for 50 Ben Butlers! 
would they not be worth 50 millions to the nation?" 

One is enough, I say. There was never yet a great man of 
whom the world wanted two. 

It was Mr. Trist that conveyed to Gen. Scott the news that 
you were going to Annapolis. He promises me a narrative 
of that. 

Your visit here was a vast success. I only hope you will 
not have to pay any penalty for it in camp. I remain, my 
dear General, y&fy ^ ^^ JAMES p ARTON 



Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

LOWELL, November 19th, 1864 

JAMES PARTON, Esq., No. 835 Broadway, NEW YORK 

DEAR SIR: I have to thank you for your favor of 12th in 
stant, respecting the libel on Gen. Butler, and yourself, in the 
London Standard of Sept. 29th, 1864; the more especially as it 
will enable me, when writing to the friend who sent me the paper 
from London, to place the whole matter in its true light. 

For this purpose I shall freely use your favor, and remain, 
c* 
ir> Very respectfully, yours, JAS. G. CARNEY 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 357 

From Edward W. Serrell to General Butler 

No. 57 West Washington Place, NEW YORK, Nov. 19,1864 

GENERAL: Supposing it possible that it may be of interest 
to you and the public service to know that the quite con 
siderable interest here who are unfriendly to your further 
advancement are circulating most industriously a rumor that 
you do not want to be Sec. of War, that your ambition lies 
in some other direction, &c., I tell you that such is the case. 

Gen l. P. M. Wetmore came to me yesterday to ask if you 
would accept if appointed; saying he knew it would receive 
the support of every newspaper worth having in New York, 
and that it was rumored you did not wish the appointment. 

An army influence here (regulars) is industriously circulating 
the rumor that you would not accept, and they say you could 
have the appointment if it was known at Washington you 
wanted it; but it is said to be the opinion there that you would 

not accept. v , . 

Your obt. Servt., 

EDWARD W. SERRELL 
From Colonel C. B. Danby 

Head Quarters 3rd Brigade, 1st Div. 10th A.C. November 19th, 1864 

Major GenL B. F. BUTLER, Comd g. Army of the James 

SIR: On the 25th of July last Brig. Gen l. Foster, then in 
command of this brigade requested me if possible to ascertain 
the author of an article published in the Buffalo Courier, of a 
scurrilous character, reflecting upon the conduct of the affairs 
of this Dept., and mentioning disrespectfully the name of the 
commanding General. I made every effort at the time but 
could not find the man. Yesterday I ascertained beyond a 
doubt that the author is Private Mooney Herr, of Com 
pany G, 100th New York Volunteers. I am, General, very 
respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, CHAS. B. DANBY 

Col. 100th N. Y. V. Comd g. 3rd Brigade 

From General Butler 

CIPHER. Hd. Qrs. Army James, Nov. 2Qth, 1864, 4.20 P.M. 

Lieut. Gen. U. S. GRANT, BURLINGTON, N. J. 

ALL remains quiet here. Kershaw s Division passed Rich 
mond Friday. Deserters report that two (2) Brigades of it 
are encamped at Chaffin s Farm, and the rest of it at Chester- 



358 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

field. It is possible there may be an attempt to break through 
our lines. We will endeavor to watch it. Richmond papers 
insist that Sheridan s forces have arrived and are encamped 
on the north side of the James. Have ordered two (2) regi 
ments of colored troops of the ninth (9th) Corps to the Ber 
muda Lines. Have not sent back the two () regiments of 
Pennsylvania troops because of Kershaw s movements. 

It is reported at Richmond that the remainder of Early s 
troops have gone into winter quarters at Mount Jackson. 
We are in the midst of a very severe storm which has lasted 
thirty-six (36) hours. Roads nearly impassable. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Army of James, Nov. 20th, 1864, 4.45 P.M. 

Brig. Gen. C. K. GRAHAM, Comd g Bermuda Line 

I AM informed that Kershaw s Division has arrived in our 
front. I think that part of it may have gone to yours. Keep 
good watch and keep me informed of what takes place. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

BY TELEGRAPH from CITY POINT, Nov. list, 1864 

HAVE you any information of any changes or movements 
of the enemy in your front? If so, please communicate the 
same to these Hd. Qrs. 

By command Lt. Gen l Grant, j A RAWLINS 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Army of the James, Nov. 21st, 2.30 P.M. 

Lt. Gen. GRANT, BURLINGTON, N. J. 

ALL quiet at this hour. A little picket firing on the Bermuda 
line last night. Raining very heavily. Roads impassable. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Nov. 21st, 1864, 7.50 P.M. 

Gen. RAWLINS, Chief of Staff 

I HAVE no information of any change save what I have com 
municated by telegraph to the Lt. General. That is to say, 
that Kershaw s Division have come in our front and in front 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 359 

of Bermuda. Deserters report nothing else. I have sent 
you the Richmond papers of today, but they have nothing. 
It is reported, however, that another division from Early is 
coming in our extreme right near Darbytown Road, but I 

think it is part of Kershaw s. ^ ^ -.-, , , . n 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. 

From Colonel Mulford 

Office Assistant Agent for Exchange of Prisoners, Flag of Truce Steamer 

"New York," Savannah River, Nov. 21, 1864 

Major-General BUTLER, Commissioner for Exchange 

GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that I have up 
to the present time received over three thousand of our men. 
Their physical condition is rather better than I expected, 
but their personal is worse than anything I have ever seen - 
filth and rags. It is a great labor to cleanse and clothe them, 
but I am fairly at work and will progress as rapidly as possible. 
I have much to say, but have little time for writing now. I 
have got off two vessels to-day, and will try and get off two 
to-morrow, and so on. Matters have been rather queerly 
managed here in the mode of conducting truce business. I 
have nothing whatever to do with the old matters, or the busi 
ness of this department. Enclosed I send you latest papers, 
and have the honor to be, Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, JOHN E. MULFORD, 
Lieutenant-Colonel and United States Agent for Exchange of 
Prisoners 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, Army of the James, 

in the Field, VA., Nov. list, 1864 

MY DEAREST SARAH: I have been most busy since I got 
here what with guests and work which was behind. It has 
rained now three days, and the roads are most terrible. All 
of us rode out in it one day, and fortunately nobody got sick. 
Have you heard what became of your bread? The boy threw 
it overboard trying to throw it onto the boat. Do send me 
some bread and some coffee. I have had no coffee since I came 
up here. Send me some pickles. 

Lee is being reinforced from the valley, and is getting uneasy 
here. What are you doing this weather? Putting buttons 
on my shirts? I should think you would have nothing else 
to do. 



360 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Did Mr. Gold win Smith get dinner with you yesterday? 
He is a pleasant gentleman and I like him. 

Tell Blanche she must read French to improve herself and 
keep up the language or she will lose it entirely. 

Tout a vous, BENJ. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Monday, Nov. list, 1864 

DEAREST: I have waited for you, I have waited for others 
to go, waited, that you might be glad when a letter came at 
last, waited for everybody s pleasure or convenience, as I 
often do; now I will wait no longer, but write for my own pleas 
ure, and tell you how much I miss you, how trifling are all 
interests to me but those that belong to us, how much I am 
tempted to go up tomorrow in the hospital boat, as I was today 
in the "Greyhound." But I cannot, for the rain is pouring. 
And you are too lately there to want me now. Yesterday 
the Englishman came. He had but an hour, but I gave him 
a capital lunch. I know he left with a very agreeable impres 
sion, and earnest invitation to visit him in England given with 
warm cordiality to Blanche and myself. 

Two hours ago I could have written you a charming letter 
now I cannot do it. I will not try to tell you why, for it is 
late and I cannot explain the sudden annoyance that has 
changed agreeable to anxious thoughts. Is camp life as 
pleasant as you anticipated? I think it may be dull just now, 
as your party has left and the days are wet. I heard that 
Porter was preparing to blow up the rebel rams with torpedoes, 
and has men now at work for that purpose. This is a great 
secret, so unless you know it say nothing about it. Webster 
and family have gone to Norfolk to live in the Brown house. 
No word from Shepley that I have heard of. Farrington and 
Carney have given us an invitation for a Thanksgiving dinner 
next Thursday. Would you not like to join us? Shepley 
is invited. The Admiral, Mrs. Porter, and the staff called on 
me the last fair day. There were several things I thought of 
to write you about, but I am so ill at ease that I cannot think 
of them. I am sorry we are so far apart; it would be so 
pleasant to have something kindly said tonight. All are in 
bed but me, and have been sometime. I shall retire now, to 
sleep I hope. Goodnight, dearest, may you sleep well. 

SARAH 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 361 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, 
Army of the James, in the Field, VA., Nov. 22d, 1864 

MY DEAREST WIFE: Two, three, four days have I looked 
in vain all through the mail for a letter from you, but Alas! 
Alas! I found none. Have you forgotten me quite? Do you 
mean to leave me here mid storm and mud unceasing, to perish 
unheeded? Do these rainy days pass so quickly and swiftly 
that you have no time for me? You cannot be sick or I should 
have heard. Well, well, we must bear it all with a "patient 
shrug for sufferance is the badge of all my tribe." 

Yours, BENJ. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 64 

You know, my dear, how ready you were to return to camp 
life. Now confess, are you not a little wearied with what it 
offers? W r ould you not really prefer Washington or New York? 
I tell you at once that last night and today I am restless and 
depressed. It is the result of things I cannot control and must 
endure as best I can. Nor is it in your power to give me aid, 
as it refers to sickness and the sight of others distress. 1 

I should be glad if you were Secretary of War. The excite 
ment of Washington life would be better for me now, both mind 
and body, than to watch the progress of a terrible disease. 
Mrs. Read is here. Her lively nonsense will help along the 
days. Susan, when she is settled, will share the duty. 

There is a French woman here, the wife of Dr. Kinsman, 
not the one you know, but a cousin who studied in Paris and 
married there. The lady, Dr. McCormick says, speaks pure 
Parisian. With a little kindness and attention from us she 
will be willing to be agreeable in return and talk French with 
Blanche for the pleasure of chatting with us in English. I 
shall further this acquaintance as much as possible for Blanche s 
benefit. I think a teacher in music can be had from Norfolk. 
In this way her time will be fully occupied. This morning 
I went in to hear the boys lessons. Mr. Owen says they have 
made greater progress the past six months than he has ever 
seen children do before in the same time. Today he asked 
leave of absence for four days to visit Newburn. He leaves 

1 Mrs. Harriet Heard had been brought to Fortress Monroe. 



362 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

in the boat this afternoon. One of these days I shall ask 
you to send me the "Greyhound." There are some ladies 
here who would like very much to go to the front. I believe 
it would be better I should invite them. Of course, we must 
wait till the weather is fine, and the hut in order. How 
miserably wet it must be there now. I shall send bread and 
coffee in the morning, and a bottle of picallilly. You have a 
large number of soiled shirts in your trunk. Send them down. 

With best and kindest feeling, ^ 

Yours, SARAH 

From General Butler to General Grant 

CIPHER. Nov. 22, 1864, 5 P.M. 

ALL quiet. Two divisions of Early s men reported on the 
Darbytown Road. R 



From General Butler 

C. A. DANA, Asst. Sec. of War CIPHER Nov 22 * 1864 

THE Navy are ready with their one hundred and fifty tons. 1 
How soon can you send me ours to Fortress Monroe? Vessel 
is being prepared. BENJ R BUTLER> 



From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, Army of the James, 

in the field, VA., Nov. 22d, 1864, 10 P.M. 

MY DEAR LITTLE WIFE : I am grieved that you are annoyed 
so you cannot write me cheerfully. What must you think 
of me so lonely here in my little log hut? not a word from 
anybody save business calls, which cease at 4 P.M. During 
this whole evening I have been alone for three days the rain 
poured pitilessly, and I have not been able to be out, and no 
letter from you till tonight, and then a sad one evidently. 
I do not see why you could not tell me what annoyed you, 
but no matter if you are not so inclined. I get no word from 
Washington such as I would like to get. 

Grant has not returned he may as well not come back. 
The rain has rendered all present movements impossible. 

I should like to be at the Thanksgiving dinner with you 
but cannot. "Let good digestion wait on appetite and health 

onboth -" Goodnight, BENJ. 

1 Powder for powder boat. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 363 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Wednesday, Nov. %3rd, 1864 

DEAREST: I cannot think of you as being annoyed as I 
might be. You are so full of health and strength you may 
defy the world. Nothing can hurt so much. I tell you I 
would give up almost everything to feel the vigor of perfect 
health and strength. Do not think I mean to complain, for 
I am by no means sick; only I feel that I have no reserve 
power and any calamity that arises makes me feel helpless 
for a time. But after all, my dear, I have force of mind, and 
that must control the body. So you are lonesome and miss 
my poor letters. I had a great mind to go up this morning 
to see Dutch Gap opened, but Farrington and Carney would 
be too much mortified if the dinner failed. Blanche, Paul, 
and Benny have gone over with Mr. Webster this evening 
to pass the night. Webster has not much furniture yet. Do 
you not think it a mean thing on Shepley s part to withhold the 
house he had promised, and promised it to me, too? So, so. 
"sufferance is the badge of all your tribe," is it? You make 
me smile. It is the one quality you most heartily abjure, - 
patience and sufferance will never be guests of yours. If 
pressed in they will get cheap entertainment and speedily 
be shown the door. There is a rumour that Burnside comes here 
- the armies of the James and Potomac to be consolidated, 
and you to enter the Cabinet as Secretary of War. Would you 
like it, my love? I think it would please me. But I do not 
believe the report. And you have been alone these evenings. 
I thought you so full of business and visitors that you would 
only glance at my letters. I would rather, far, be with you. 
The time would go on very pleasantly, with a few books wiien 
you are busy. There should be three or four windows, Blanche 
says, in the log hut that we may spy out what the officers are 
doing. I have not seen Fisher since you left. He is still at 
Norfolk. I shall shake off the dullness. It comes when I am 
not quite well. I am sorry we cannot have you for the Thanks 
giving dinner. I shall drink your health if there is wine, 
and regret your absence very much. 

Yours as ever, SARAH 



364 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of Virginia & North Carolina, Army of the James, 

in the Field, VA., Nov. 23, 1864 

So the dear little puss wants to be Mrs. Secretary of War, 
does she? Sly little puss! Why does she not cry for a piece 
of the moon? She shall have it, so she shall! Don t she 
wish she may get it, but how? That s the question. 

The ice froze here an inch thick last night. I almost froze 
my toes by sticking them too far through my little bed, before 
I woke up. I have got my log house nearly done, but I think 
I shall sleep in boots in the future. 

Oh, I am in love with camp life, I am, of course, who 
could help it? Mud now frozen, smoking house, all the agree- 
ables. Am about to lose my cook, his time is out. 

And my Thanksgiving dinner too, think of that. Such 
a company as I shall have for dinner "Lucullus dines with 
Lucullus." 

I like your idea about the French. Hadn t you better study 
it yourself? I wish I could be there, to talk with Madame too. 

Goodbye, Mrs. Maj. General, how poor that title sounds 
now, doesn t it? 

Oh, my dear little wife "I would and I could"- kiss you. 

BENJ. 
From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Army of the James, Nov. 24,, 1864, 11.30 P.M. 

Hon. E. M. ST ANTON, Sec. of War 

IN the absence of Lt. Gen. Grant I have to report to you 
that the battery and cavalry horses are suffering for hay, 
and the Government is losing large sums in the depreciation 
of their horses from this cause. For this there can be no excuse, 
as there is hay enough in the country. It can only arise 
from inexcusable remissness somewhere which need but to be 
brought to your attention to be remedied. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

BY TELEGRAPH from CITY POINT, Nov. 24, 1864 

THE Lt. Gen. has arrived from Washington. Is there any 
change on the part of the enemy in your front? 
By com d of Lt. Gen. Grant 

J. A. RAWLINS, B. G. Chf. of Staff 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 365 

From General Butler 

Capt. Fox, Asst. Secretary of Navy Nov mh 1864 

ASST. SECRETARY DANA informs me that the needed material l 
will be sent at once to Fortress Monroe 100. Please see him 

and add 50 - B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. 

From General Butler to General Dyer 

CIPHER. Nov. 25th, 1864 

MR. DANA telegraphs me that the material for the explosive 
experiment has been ordered. Please inform me when it will 
be at Fortress Monroe, & how much. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Head Quarters Department of Virginia and North Carolina, Army of the James, 

in the Field, VA., Nov. 25, 1864 

MY DEAREST SARAH : No letter tonight, and I am so lonely. 
Ah! well, you were away to a dinner, so I get none. I trust 
you enjoyed your company and the occasion. I am very much 
ennuied with my life. True, there are many different things, 
but they are all the same things after all. There is no hope 
of change so far as I can see. I wish you were with me here, 
but that is impossible. I have no place to make you com 
fortable. I am inclined to think, however, that I shall be at 
Fortress Monroe pretty soon on business. 

All is quiet here to a very great degree. Gen l. Grant 
has returned and is to be here tomorrow. I have no note paper, 
and therefore write you upon this larger sheet, but as you do 
not deserve any letter, and I can t give you a kiss , take this. 

BENJ. 
From General Butler 

HASTE. Hd. Qrs. Army James, Nov. 26th, 1864, 9.45 A.M. 

Rear Admiral PORTER, FT. MONROE 

MR. BIRNEY is to show me tonight a little exhibition of his 
fire apparatus. Please come up this pleasant day and I will 
go down with you in the morning to meet the Assistant Secre 
tary. I mean to have Gen. Grant here. 

Come up to the landing on north side of James, just below 
upper pontoon bridge. BENJ R BUTLER> Maj 

1 Powder for powder boat. 



366 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of Virginia & North Carolina, Army of the James, 

in the Field, VA., Nov. 26, 1864 

MY DEAREST WIFE: I shall be down on Sunday if nothing 
happens, and Fox will dine with me on that day, and perhaps 
Admiral Porter and wife if they will come. 

Don t weary yourself in getting dinner for us, but I thought 
it best to give you notice. 

Nothing has changed since I wrote you last night. It is 
possible that you may want to come up with me. 

Tout a vous, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From Colonel Shaffer to General Butler 

PERSONAL. FREEPORT, ILL., Nov. 27/64 

DEAR GENERAL: I have been stirring around for the last 
week seeing whether Washburn can t be made Senator, and 
have concluded that the thing can be did, if the right work is 
done. I will take a turn or two at it, and then I will come and 
see you. I should like much to know what uncle Abe proposes 
doing in regard to his Cabinet, etc., and how you will come 
out. There was a report in New York papers that you had 
declined the War Office. I have rec d as many as twenty 
letters asking me to write you not to decline. The people have 
decided that you should be here. My own judgment is that 
you should accept War or State Dep t, but no other. You 
of course may have reasons that I know nothing about. 

Your letter in regard to Osborne is funny. I might write 
Old Abe until I used up all my stationery without anything 
being done unless his Department Commander recommended 
it. If, however, you don t think it a good and proper thing to 
do, don t do it. I don t believe he is a very big Injun, but he 
is better than scores who have been promoted, and as he has 
done good service for 3 years as a Col., and as his is the only 
111. Regt. in the East, I thought it eminently proper that he 
should be promoted. What say you? I am like a fish out of 
water and don t expect to feel settled for some time. 
Your Friend, J. W. SHAFFER 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 367 

From General Butler to General Palmer 

Head Quarters Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

FORT MONROE, Nov. 28tfz, 1864 

PLEASE answer specifically the following questions. How 
many men have you mounted fit for duty in your command? 
How many horses that would be fit for cav. or mounted in 
fantry could you by most vigorous collection be able to get 
together at or near Newbern, besides those reckoned in an 
swer to the first question? Would you then have mule or 
horse teams sufficient to carry 600,000 rounds of small arms, 
ammunition on a fifty mile march? 

I desire an answer to these questions forthwith. I am 
very respectfully, ^ ^.^ ^^ R p R 



From General Butler 

Head Quarters Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 
FORT MONROE, VIRGINIA, November 28th, 1864 

GEORGE H. POWERS, Esq. 

I AM pained to announce to you the destruction of the " Grey 
hound by fire. I believe the accident occurred from causes 
wholly beyond the control of the master and crew. 

The furnace door blew open and scattered the coals through 
the fire room. The pumps were promptly applied and the 
fire subdued below, but it burst out on deck through the sheath 
ing of the steam pipe. 

I was on board at the time and observed the conduct of the 
officers and men. While all behaved well, I desire specially 
to commend the coolness, energy and brave conduct of Mr. 
Bradford, the master of the boat. He will give you the 
particulars of the affair. 

I have sent him north to select another boat for similar 
uses as the "Greyhound," and shall ask the owners to put him 
in command of it if chartered for my service. I can give no 
higher commendation of my opinion of his efficiency. 

Respectfully, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

UNOFFICIAL. Head Quarters &c,, Nov. 28th, 1864 

Hon. WM. WHITING, Solicitor of the War Department 

MY DEAR WHITING: I enclose herewith to you a note to 
the Secretary of War in relation to the matter of Sam l. Smith 



368 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

& Co., Bankers of New Orleans. I think it a clean case for 
a test question, and hope the Government will defend it. 
Please bring the paper to the notice of the Secretary, and get 
his permission to allow me to publish the note in my own 
justification. 

Although somewhat thick-skinned to newspapers attacks, 
yet some of my good and true friends are writing me that I 
ought to explain the facts, and I know no better way to do so 
than by such publication. 

If I may rely upon those friendly relations which exist 
between us upon you to procure this to be done, you will add 
another to the many obligations which I am under to yourself. 

By the by, why do you not come to the "front," and see how 
war is actually carried on? I will give you a plate and a 

blanket. v / T> T 

Yours truly, B. F. B. 

From William Whiting to General Butler 

War Dept. Solicitor s Office, WASH., D. C., Nov. 30th, 1864 

[Not in chronological order] 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have received yours of the 28th with 
its enclosure; and I have got Dana to seek a favorable moment 
to obtain the Secretary s permission to have it published. 

The Secretary is far from being well. I shall get his answer 
I hope very soon, and it shall be communicated to you at 
once. I have said to the Asst. Sec. that it is but an act of jus 
tice to you that the statement should be published. 

It would give me pleasure to see you in the midst of your 
command at City Point and I will take some opportunity to 
pay you my respects in person if I can get an opportunity. 

Yours faithfully, WILLIAM WHITING 

From R. S. Fay, Esq., to General Butler 

FLORENCE, Italy, Nov. 28th, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL I have given up the use of brain and 
hand almost completely eyes and ears are all one needs in 
this beatific land but I control my conscience not to allow a 
mail to leave without making a grand effort, and acknowl 
edging your very great kindness to my young friend Eyre, the 
account of which I have just received from him. He writes 
in great admiration of you, and fully appreciates all your 
kindness I should quote his letter, but it is too long for my 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 369 

little sheet. It might go as an antidote to the diatribes of 
the morning Post, Times, and other London newspapers. 
You ought to read the letter of the correspondent of the 
London Telegraph of Wednesday last, it is on the whole 
better than any thing I had read in which you figure, and yet 
I do not know whether it is blame or praise. I do know, in 
this particular, that you do not care. May a kind and 
good Providence preserve you, for the time is coming when 
the bayonet will be for us all the best constitutional protection. 
Richard will soon join us, and all my family will then be under 
one roof for the first time for many years. I shall probably 
return to America early in 65 on account of his absence, and 
whether you are at the front or in the rear, I shall make it 
a point to see you. In the meantime, believe me, 

Very sincerely yours, R. S. FAY 

From General Grant 

CIPHER. CITY POINT, Nov. 2&&. 1864 

To Maj. Gen 1. B. F. BUTLER, Comd g. 

WILL you be at Ft. Monroe all day tomorrow? If so I 
will meet you and the Admiral there at 3 P.M. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. General 

From General Butler to General Grant 

CIPHER. Nov. 28, 11.40 A.M. 

I WILL await your coming and notify the Admiral. Please 
telegraph me when you leave so that I may be sure & meet you. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From H. A. Risley to General Butler 

FORT MONROE, Nov. 29th, 1864 

GENERAL: I conclude to go up tonight and see Mr. Fessen- 
den. He will want my report by tomorrow so he can appoint 
a collector, etc. I shall urge your views upon him as to sending 
a new man. If he thinks best, as he did when I left, to appoint 
some Union resident of Norfolk of the old stock, I will recom 
mend Wm. T. Harrison, unless I receive a telegram from you 
that there are objections. I think Harrison a better man than 
Dr. Webb, and these are the only two talked about as any 
way fit for the place. 

I shall urge C. Hart well for Naval office. 

VOL. V 24 



370 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I have arranged with Mr. Farrington as to cotton purchases, 
and am much pleased with him. 

I shall come back Friday night and be about here a week or 
two, and will go up to the front to see you. With great respect 

Your obdt. Sevt., H. A. RISLEY 

From Goldwin Smith to General Butler 

2 to 3 8. ISth Street, PHILADELPHIA. Nov. 29^, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL BUTLER: I rejoice in your providential 
escape, 1 not only because I am personally most grateful for 
your kindness, but because, on public grounds, I follow your 
future with interest and hope. I rejoice for the sake of Mrs. 
Butler and Miss Butler as well as for your own. 

Alas for the "Florida!" I fear America, however, will 
scarcely escape a stain. If it had been the case of my own 
country, I had rather our best ship, our best fleet, had gone to 

Very truly yours, GOLDWIN SMITH 
From Colonel E. F. Jones 

PEPPERELL, MASS., Nov. 29^, 1864 

Major Gen l. B. F. BUTLER, FORTRESS MONROE 

MY DEAR GENERAL: A gentleman told me in Boston to-day 
that he was this day told by an officer of the Cunard steamer 
"Africa" that he was informed six weeks since by an officer 
who had left the "Greyhound" that the accident happening 
to her would take place, as it was so arranged before he left 
that the head of the boiler would blow out. With my old 
feelings of friendship for you all alive, allow me to congratulate 
you on your escape. j^ R 



From Peter Lawson to General Butler 

LOWELL, Nov. SOth 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: When in Boston yesterday I was 
surprised to learn from the purser of the steamship "Asia," 
Mr. Field, that he was informed in Liverpool, six weeks ago, 
that the boilers of the "Greyhound" were fixed in such manner 
that the accident which did occur was well known in Liverpool 
would take place. In fact, he was told by a passenger who 

1 General Butler was on board the Steamer "Greyhound" when the fire started 
which destroyed her. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 371 

took passage at Halifax in the steamship which left early in 
October. The passenger told him that the destruction of 
the "Greyhound" by fire would certainly occur, but could not 
state definitely when it would take place. 

Mr. Field mentioned it on Sunday on arrival, and intended to 
have communicated it to me at once. He is a good Union 
man, in sympathy with us, and knew me to be your ardent 
friend and supporter. Mr. Field can be relied on, as he is 
a true and faithful brother. 

Allow me at this time, my dear General, to mingle my 
sympathies with yours and congratulate you and your family 
on your most Providential escape without injury. And my 
only prayer is that Our Heavenly Father in His Divine mercy 
may watch over you and protect you, till you accomplish the 
work he has laid out for you in the settlement of this cruel war. 

I wrote you on the 24th instant, which I hope you will 
answer as early as possible, as I intend leaving home for the 
South as soon as I hear from you. I have heard nothing of the 
whereabouts of Mr. Hildreth yet. Mr. Field communicated 
other facts that would be of much interest to our government) 
which I will tell you of when I see you. I am your sincere 

friend and fraternal brother. 

PETER LAWSON 



From General Grant to General Butler 

BY TELEGRAPH from Headquarters CITY POINT, Nov. 30, 1864 

I HAVE files of Savannah and Augusta papers sent me by 
Col. Mulford, from which I gather that Bragg has gone to 
Georgia, taking with him what I judge to be most of the forces 
from about Wilmington. It is therefore important that Weitzel 
should get off during his absence, and if successful in effecting 
a landing he may by a bold dash also succeed in capturing 
Wilmington. Make all the arrangements for his departure, 
so that the Navy will not be detained one moment for the army. 

Did you order Palmer to make the movement proposed yes 
terday? It is important that he should do so without delay. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen l 



372 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, in the Field Nov 30th, 1864 

Rear Admiral PORTER, Comd g. North Atlantic Blockading 
Squadron, JAMES RIVER 

ADMIRAL: Brigadier General Wild will hand you this note, 
and brings also orders to General Palmer about the matter 
of which we were speaking. Please give him an order to be 
transmitted through him to the commander of your naval 
forces in the sound to cooperate in the fullest extent with 
General Palmer, and to move with all promptness and celerity. 
General Wild will show you the orders, which are unsealed for 
that purpose, which he takes to General Palmer. 

If anything occurs to you which I have not covered in my 
instructions please telegraph me, and I will reach General 
Wild by telegraph before he leaves Fort Monroe. I have the 
honor to be, Very Respectfully, 

Your Obedient Servant, BENJ. F. BUTLER, 

Major General Commanding 

From General Butler to General Palmer 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, in the Field, Nov. 30th, 1864 

GENERAL: Information has got to me that the enemy are 
in small force less than five hundred (500) men are forti 
fying Rainbow Bluff twenty (20) miles up the Roanoke above 
Plymouth. Admiral Porter suggests upon the information that 
he has from the naval officer commanding those waters that a 
conjunct expedition of the Navy and Army would easily cap 
ture that point and hold it, and that it is of very great import 
ance that we should do so. Therefore I propose that you 
shall make the attempt. Take all the forces that can be spared 
in your district which you may deem necessary, and move with 
great promptness while the enemy are engaged with Sherman 
in Georgia and with us here, so that you need not fear rein 
forcements. Perhaps after seizing that point you might by 
a bold push reach the Rainbow Bluff at Halifax. 

I would suggest that you could transport your troops and 
supplies within six (6) miles, and land them below the bluff 
and take the enemy in the rear late matters of detail must be 
left to your discretion. What I do require is promptness of 
action, and I rest largely on that. I rest also largely upon 
your energy and zeal. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 373 

You had better give out that your expedition is a movement 
up the Chowan upon Weldon. You are surrounded by spies, 
and the moment you start any movement conjecture will 
be busy as to its direction. 

Now, if you let it be confidentially understood by a sufficient 
number of persons that you are going up the Chowan, that 
will be sure to get to the enemy. Brig. Gen l. Wild, who does 
me the favor to take this to you, is also charged with some 
confidential matters which he will state to you, and in which 
I trust you will aid him. 

As soon as this expedition is over, I propose to send you a 
Battalion of the 16th N. Y. H. Arty., as portion of your gar 
rison at Newbern, and take the 15th Comm. (Conn.) into the 
field with me, unless you can state objections which do not now 
occur to me. I am, 

Very respectfully yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. ComcTg. 

From General Meade to General Butler 

United States Military Telegraph, Hd. Qrs. A. of P., Nov. 1864 

No movements in Petersburg have been observed or re 
ported up to this hour. Reports from my lines, signal officers, 
and deserters, indicate no change or movement. 

GEORGE G. MEADE, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. A. of P. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Headquarters Army of the James, November 30tk, 1864, 8.45 P.M. 

I HAVE been busy all day endeavoring to ascertain the truth 
as to the movement of the troops from here. Deserters say 
that Field s, Hoke s, and Kershaw s divisions have all moved, 
each going a different way, but gone toward Petersburg. My 
signal officer reports a train of six cars loaded with troops, and 
six open cars loaded with artillery, passing from Petersburg 
toward Richmond to-day. I am inclined to believe that the 
movement is of Hoke s division to Petersburg, only because 
of a difficulty and a very angry discussion which has sprung up 
between Hoke and Field in regard to their failure at Battery 
Harrison on the 30th of September last, which appeared in the 
Richmond papers, and that Kershaw is to take Hoke s place 
here. We have had literally no deserters for two days. We 
have nearly perfected the plan of organization of the corps. 
W T ith your leave I will be down in the morning for the necessary 
orders. Orders will go down to-morrow to General Palmer 



374 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

to make the move of which we spoke. I have spared every 
thing I can from the hospital boats and other boats in the 
department to move troops. The navy shall not wait for me 
a single hour, and we will make the push if it is possible. 

B. F. BUTLER, Major -General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 42, Part I, Page 971. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

By Telegraph from CITY POINT, Nov. 30, 1864 

I SHALL be at Hd. Qrs. tomorrow, & will be glad to see you 
here U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, nine o clock eve. Nov. 64 

DEAREST: Col. Kensel, wife, sister, and Major Davis came 
to the Fort this morning. I invited them to dinner this after 
noon as a proper attention. They stayed the evening. That 
makes it late writing to you. Mrs. Judge White sent me a 
note (the second one on the same matter, the first was forgotten 
unfortunately) . I enclose it to you, and entreat that without 
delay you will grant the request and send her the pass for the 
children as she desires. Pray do not neglect it as I have done, 
for there are little things that worry me if left undone. Read 
her note, as part of it relates to you. 

The morning was so lovely we repented much that we did 
not go with you. There will be no more such days. We have 
lost the fairest time that could be offered. I will adopt your 
view of things, and cease to regret whatever has passed. I 
miss you more and more, when you go away. Yet we might 
quarrel, who knows, if you were constantly here. To be sure, 
thinking of my perfections, that would hardly seem possible, 
but men are so perverse; they are hardly to be counted as 
rational beings. Now you may be glad to see me by Saturday. 
Kensel proposes to go up on Sunday. We may find that a 
better time. Whichever or whenever, I am till then somehow 
with a touch of sadness that I cannot help, 

Most dearly and truly your SARAH 

Forget not, delay not my request. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 375 



From General Butler 

Dec. Ind, 1864, 9.5 A.M. 

Col, DODGE, BERMUDA 

PRESS the hospital. I have ordered 350 men to report for 
duty there. If you want more call on Gen. Graham for them. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Dec. 2, 1864 

Brig. Gen. GRAHAM, Comd g., &c. 

ORDER two hundred men with shovels and picks to report at 
once and till further orders to surgeon in charge at Point of 
Rocks Hospital. Also one hundred and fifty men with axes. 
Send the most energetic officers you have with them. We must 
take advantage of this fine weather to get up our hospital. 

I should be glad to see you this afternoon. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 



From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Dec. Id, 1864 

HAS Col. Patten been sent to the Army of the Potomac? 
I do not care to have him go, but Gen. Meade is desirous of 
knowing if he is to go or not, in order that he may know whether 
to assign a commander to the troops you sent to him. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen I. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Dec. Ind, 1864 

COL. PATTEN has been assigned to the command of a brigade 
in the 18th Corps, and I would not like to spare him if you do 
not object to the assignment. 

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

From General Butler to General Meade 

Dec. 2nd, 1864 

LARGE numbers of the Colored Division of the 9th Corps 
were on detached or detailed duty in that Corps and have not 
been sent with their regiments. I took special pains to have 
all the detailed men of the Provisional Brigade sent to you. 

Please order all the men on duty in your army belonging to 
the Army of the James sent here, specially of the Colored 



376 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Division. You will have to see to it that the order is enforced 
as it is difficult to get detailed men always. 

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

From John K. Hackett to General Butler 

Law Department, Office of Counsel to the Corporation, Dec. 2nd, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Your kind favor of Nov. 25th received. 
I enclose you some newspaper clippings, with reference to the 
motion to remove cause of Smith & Co. 

Judge Pierrepont had his speech prepared and read it. My 
reply was not printed, a more gross departure from pro 
fessional propriety I have never known. The judge should 
have stopped him, but did not. The motion will be decided, 
I assume, in the course of a few days. Of the issue I will 
promptly advise you. Will you not draw the substantive 
matters to be embraced in your answer at your earliest con 
venience, and I will then put the answer in form, to be used in 
case of emergency? In great haste. 

Very truly yours, JOHN K. HACKETT 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Dec. 2nd, 1864, 9.35 P.M. 

I UNDERSTAND that Pollard, the southern historian, is at 
Fortress Monroe, paroled and going about the wharf and else 
where with freedom. 

The imprudence of many of our officers in telling all they 
know to every one makes this objectionable, particularly if 
he is to be exchanged. I would suggest close confinement for 
him until the time comes for exchanging. I would also suggest 
that if he is exchanged, Richardson and Brown, two correspon 
dents that were captured running the Vicksburg blockade, 

be demanded for him. TT T . n , 7 

U. S. GRANT, Lt.Genl. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Hd. Qrs. Army of the James, Dec. 2nd, 1864, 9.20 P.M. 

I WILL attend to the matter of Mr. Pollard. I did not know 
that he was at large. He is not to be exchanged unless Richard 
son and Brown are given up. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 377 

From Captain Puffer 

Head Quarters, Dept. of Va. & N. C. FORTRESS MONROE, VA., Dec. Ird, 1864 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER, Comdg. Army of the James, etc. 

GENERAL: I telegraphed you this morning that Pollard 
had gone up to your Head Quarters. I received your tele 
gram at 10J last night, just as I was going to bed, and supposed 
at the time that P. was still here, as I did not think he got my 
pass early enough for yesterday s boat. I got up before 7 
this morning, and went down to find him, and learned that he 
went up on an extra boat at 10 o clock, A.M. 

If I had the slightest idea that he was to be treated differently 
from other prisoners, I would have had the strictest watch over 
him. As it was, I sent him to report at once to the Provost 
Marshal, where a copy of his order was taken, and his parole 
given that he "would not leave the precincts of the hotel or 
hold communication with anyone except through the Provost 
Marshal s office." 

He may have obtained a good deal of information, General, 
during the time he was here, for this point is a great place for 
rumors. For instance, I was told this morning that there was 
no news excepting "about the troops coming down from the 
front to go with Porter." 

I mention this particularly, because, from the open manner 
in which it was said, I see no reason why Pollard may not have 
overheard the same thing. I have the honor to be, General, 
Your obdt. Servant, A. F. PUFFER, Capt. & A. D.C. 

From General Butler 

Dec. 4</t, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Capt. PUFFER, A. D. C., FORTRESS MONROE 

I SEND Mr. Pollard back. Keep him in the fort as com 
fortably as you can. Let him give his parole there, he will 
have no communication with anybody but yourself. Pollard 
can walk about the fort. 

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

From H. A. Risley to General Butler 

Commercial Intercourse urith and in States Declared in Insurrection, Seventh Agency, 

Treasury Department, WASHINGTON, D. C., Dec. 3rd, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: It is impossible for me to get down before 
the middle of next week. I must first go to New York. The 



378 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

collectorship is suspended, as you will observe. Mr. Hudson, 
my assistant there, is acting collector until it is known and 
determined what is best. I shall visit you immediately at 
Bermuda Hundred on getting down. 

Your obdt. Servant, H. A. RISLEY 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Dec. 3d, 1864 

PLEASE telegraph me if there is any news from Sherman in 
the Richmond papers of today. n g GRANT> u 



From General Butler to General Grant 

Dec. 3rd, 1864. 8 P.M. 

THERE is absolutely no news in the Richmond papers from 
Sherman. An extract from Savannah News says Oconee 
Bridge is burnt, Nov. 20th, and that on Tuesday the enemy 
made his appearance at Griswoldville, burnt the town, had a 
battle, and were repulsed. And that a raiding party had 
approached Warrenton. But all this seems to be only accounts 
of skirmishers. Send papers. BENJ p 



From General Butler to General Palmer 

Ed. Qrs. Army of the James, December 4th, 1864 

GENERAL : Most of the matters in your confidential despatch 
by the hand of General Harland, which reached me this morn 
ing (Dec. 4th), must have been answered by my despatch 
by the hand of General Wild, and I think with it you will be able 
to make the movement which I suggest therein. I should be 
very glad if you cut the railroad, especially just now. Push 
for it if it is possible, but when there make the destruction cer 
tain, cut it if it is possible at two (2) points some miles apart, 
so that it shall not be to the enemy a mere transshipment. 

Have everything of your command that you can possibly 
have ready as a mobile force to cooperate with me in a move 
ment hereafter possible, and of which you will be instructed. 

I would suggest after taking Rainbow Bluff, to strike across 
to Farboro, thence to Rocky Mount, cutting the railroad at 
Swift Creek and Rocky Mount, so as to put difficulties between 
yourself and Lee, then forty (40) miles will take you to Golds- 
boro, thence home via Kinston if you fancy. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 379 

Live on the country. I would march without transportation, 
intending to live on the country. Such a movement of yours 
would be of incalculable service just now, and while I do not 
order it, I suggest it and will sanction it. 

As soon as you strike Hamilton with your transportation 
you might send it back for your cavalry, or perhaps, what 
would be still better, leave your cavalry to make the demon 
stration on Kins ton as a diversion. 

If they can take Kinston, let them keep on to Goldsboro; 
at any rate hold on to Kinston or in that neighborhood until 
you could possibly join them. I have the honor to be, Very 
respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CIPHER. Headqrs. Armies of the United States, 
CITY POINT, VA.. Dec. 4, 1864 

I FEEL great anxiety to see the Wilmington expedition 
get off, both on account of the present fine weather, which we 
can expect no great continuance of, and because Gen l. Sherman 
may now be expected to strike the seacoast any day, leaving 
Bragg free to return. 

I think it advisable for you to notify Admiral Porter and get 
off without any delay, with or without your powder boat. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen I. 

From General Butler to Admiral Porter 

CIPHER. Department of Virginia and North Carolina, Dec. 4, 1864 

WHEN can you be ready with our little expedition? Captain 
Edson, ordnance officer at Fortress Monroe, will put ordnance 
stores at your disposal. Time is valuable from the news we get. 
BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, Major-General Commanding 

From Admiral Porter to General Butler 

NORFOLK, Dec. 4, 1864 

WE are ready for the one hundred and fifty (150) tons of 
powder. Will you give directions to have it bagged ready 

to go on board? D AJ . , 

D. D. PORTER, Rear -Admiral 



380 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to Captain Edson 

.CIPHER. Dec. 5, 1864, 11.20 A.M. 

PLEASE have at once all the powder of which I spoke to you 
put in sand bags or flour sacks ready for shipment. You will 
see Admiral Porter on the subject. You will get the bags 
of the engineer department at Fortress Monroe. If not, 
notify me by telegram. 

BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, Major-General Commanding 

From Admiral Porter to General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 5, 1864, 4 P.M. 

I AM all ready, and shall call on the ordnance officer at 
Fortress Monroe for material. 

D. D. PORTER, Rear-Admiral 

From General Grant 

Head Quarters Armies of the United States, CITY POINT, VA., Dec. 6th, 1864 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Comd g. Army of the James 

GENERAL: The first object of the expedition under Gen. 
Weitzel is to close to the enemy the port of Wilmington. If 
successful in this, the second will be to capture Wilmington 
itself. There are reasonable grounds to hope for success if 
advantage can be taken of the absence of the greater part 
of the enemy s forces, now looking after Sherman in Georgia. 
The directions you have given for the numbers and equipment 
of this expedition are all right except in the unimportant matters 
of where they embark, and the amount of intrenching tools 
to be taken. The object of the expedition will be gained by 
effecting a landing on the main land between Cape Fear River 
and the Atlantic, north of the north entrance to the river. 
Should such landing be effected whilst the enemy still hold 
Fort Fisher and the batteries guarding the entrance to the 
river, then the troops should intrench themselves, and by 
cooperating with the Navy effect the reduction and capture 
of those places. These in our hands, the Navy could enter 
the harbor, and the Port of Wilmington would be sealed. 
Should Fort Fisher and the point of land on which it is built 
fall into the hands of our troops immediately on landing, 
then it will be worth the attempt to capture Wilmington by a 
forced march and surprise. If time is consumed in gaining 
the first object of the expedition, the second will become 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 381 

a matter of after consideration. The details for execution 
are entrusted to you and the officer immediately in command 
of the troops. 

Very respectfully, Your obt. svt., U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen. 

P.S. Should the troops under Gen. Weitzel fail to effect a 
landing at or near Fort Fisher, they will be returned to the 
Army operating against Richmond without delay. U. S. G. 

From General Turner 

CONFIDENTIAL. Head Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., Army of the James, 

in the Field, Dec. 6th, 1864 

Maj. Gen l. G. WEITZEL, Comd g. 25th Corps 

GENERAL: The Major General Commanding has entrusted 
you with the command of the expedition about to embark 
for the North Carolina coast. It will consist of about 6500 
infantry, 2 batteries of artillery, and 50 cavalry. 

The effective men of General Ames Division of the 24th 
Corps, and Gen l. Paine s Division of the 25th Corps, will 
furnish the infantry force. 

Gen l. Paine is under your orders. Gen l. Ames will be 
ordered to report to you in person immediately. You will 
confer with these officers and arrange details. Instruct them 
to select their best men, making your total force about 6500 
men. 

The Chief of Artillery in conference with you will designate 
the artillery to be taken. The horses of the batteries, except 
one horse for each officer and Chief of Police will be left. Take 
one set of wheel harness. 

Fifty men of Massachusetts Cavalry will be ordered to report 
to you. 

Forty (40) ambulances, (2) horse, with necessary medical 
stores have been selected for the expedition, which will be 
distributed on at least two boats. 

Take 60 rounds of ammunition on the men, 100 rounds in 
boxes to be distributed through the fleet. If your Division 
trains do not furnish the necessary amount, the balance re 
quired will be furnished by Chief of Ordnance at the point of 
embarkation. 300 rounds of ammunition (artillery) per gun 
will be taken. So much of it as is not contained in limber 
boxes and caissons will be loaded in boxes at point of embar 
kation. 

Let each regiment draw and take with it on transport 5 



382 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

days rations. Three days cooked meat, days additional 
will be taken in at Fort Monroe, distributing it through the 
fleet. Field rations only will be taken. 

2 pack mules for Div. and Brig. Head Qrs. will be allowed. 

Mounted officers will take but one horse for personal use. 
The Chief Quarter Master has been instructed to furnish 150 
sets of mule harness. It is expected to get animals from the 
enemy s country. 

The Chief Quarter Master will also furnish a party of wharf 
builders, and a small amount of material for landings, etc. 

Thirty (30) launches will be taken on at Fort Monroe. 

The Chief Signal Officer has been instructed to order signal 
officers and men to report to you. 

Lt. Parson, with a company of engineer soldiers, will report 
to you. 500 shovels, 250 axes, and 100 picks have been 
prepared. 

It is expected that the necessary transportation will be 
ready by to-morrow at Deep Bottom. 

You will report in person to the Major General Commanding 
for further instructions. I am, very respectfully. 

Your obdt. Servant, JNO. W. TURNER, Brig. Gen. Chief Staff 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CIPHER. BY TELEGRAPH from CITY POINT, Dec. 6th, 1864 

I HAD sent you a cipher despatch before receiving copy of 
your instructions to Gen l. Weitzel. I think it advisable all 
embarkation should take place at Bermuda. 

The number of intrenching tools I think should be increased 

3 or 4 times. TT T . n , 7 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen I. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Dec. 6th, 186k, 6.25 P.M. 

OWING to some mistake in transmission I have not received 
your cipher despatch. 

It will be more convenient to have the embarkation at Deep 
Bottom, and I think quite as much out of the sight of the enemy 
as at Bermuda, if that is the only reason. I am informed 
Gen. Ingalls did not get your despatch, having left Washington 
before it came. The intrenching tools shall be largely increased. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comdg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 383 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Dec. 6th, 1864 

CIPHER despatch received. Orders will be given to carry 
out the orders contained in it. 

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

From General Butler to Admiral Porter 

CIPHER. Dec. 6th, 1864 

WHAT day can we start from the Fortress? I wish not to 
keep troops on board transports a day longer than possible, 
as it will take some days to reach Savannah anyway. Is there 
anything I can aid you in? 

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

From Admiral Porter to General Butler 

CIPHER. FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 6, 1864, 9.30 P.M. 

YOUR telegram is received. The vessels to carry the am 
munition will be ready in the morning, completely filled. 
The ordnance officer here at Fortress Monroe is doing every 
thing he can to expedite matters. Most of our ammunition 
is here, and will commence loading to-morrow. I will report 
perhaps to-morrow evening, so that you can make your cal 
culation when to embark. I think I can by to-morrow tell you 
within an hour when we can be ready. We are ready in every 
other respect. D D PORT Rear Mmirai 



From the Secretary of the Treasury 

Treasury Department, December 6th, 1864 

Major Gen. B. F. BUTLER, FORT MONROE, VA. 

SIR : I have the honor to transmit to you a copy of the Presi 
dent s proclamation, opening the port of Norfolk, Va., and also 
the circular issued by this Department to Collectors and other 
Officers of the Customs. 

You will perceive that there is no necessity for certificates 
from your Department for the shipment to Norfolk, Va. of 
articles not contraband of war. The certificates for shipment 
of articles contraband of war, or prohibited by military orders 
should be forwarded for approval to H. A. Risley, Esq., Sup g. 
Special Agent, 7th Agency, Washington, D. C. 

Very respectfully, W. P. FESSENDEN, Secretary of the Treas. 



384 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, 
FORT MONROE, VA., December 10th, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Hon. WM. P. FESSENDEN 

SIR: The President by his proclamation has opened the 
Port of Norfolk. One effect of that has been of course to re 
lease it from the (3) three per cent, internal tax upon all goods 
brought into the port. But as Fortress Monroe was never any 
portion of the collection district of Norfolk, it leaves upon the 
troops at Fortress Monroe that tax for all the goods they use. 
Now that seems to me not to be either just or according to the 
intendment of law. 

Fortress Monroe in and of itself was never an insurrectionary 
district. It was ceded to the United States by the State of 
Virginia, and therefore could not have been taken out by the 
State, and has always been held by the United States. It used 
to be a part of the collection district of Hampton. Hampton 
having been burned, I don t think it would be worth while to 
establish another collection district there. It never was of 
any use except to give a salary to some first gentleman of 
Virginia who was too lazy to work. 

A simple order from the Treasury Department to the col 
lectors of the ports not to regard Fortress Monroe as part of 
an insurrectionary district would accomplish the whole matter. 
Attention to this matter will much oblige. I have the honor 
to be, very respectfully, 

Your obedient Servant, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd. 

From the Secretary of War to General Butler 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, December Qth, 1864 

GENERAL : I am instructed by the Secretary of War to inform 
you 

First, that your communication, dated at Fortress Monroe, 
Nov. 28th, 1 and addressed to him in relation to the claim of 
Samuel Smith and Company against you, was referred to the 
Judge Advocate General for opinion and report on the question 
of indemnity you ask for. 

Upon that reference, the Judge Advocate General reports: 
"The question of indemnification cannot be determined at this 
stage of the proceedings. Should there be a judgment against 



1 See General Butler to Hon. E. M. Stanton, Nov. 26 1864, filed Nov. 11, 1864. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 385 

the applicant, his rights to be indemnified against it will depend 
upon the character of his conduct, considered in all its bear 
ings, which has given rise to the suit. This will be best under 
stood when examined in the light of the testimony which will 
be produced on the trial. If the applicant acted within the 
scope of his powers, fairly interpreted, his claim to protection 
against the results of this suit should be allowed. The fact 
that he had retained the gold seized and now holds it subject 
to the order of the Government, is not considered as affecting 
the rights or obligations involved." 

This report is approved, and will govern the action of the 
Department upon your request for indemnity. 

Second. In relation to your request for leave to publish your 
letter to the Secretary of War, the Secretary directs me to 
say that no objection is made by the Department to your 
publication of any statement in regard to the claim of Smith 
& Co. which you may deem essential for your vindication. 

Third. In reference to the information given by you to the 
Department a copy of your memorandum in relation to the 
gold of Smith and Co. seized by you, filed with your accounts 
and vouchers in the War Department, is hereto annexed. 
I am, General, Very respectfully, 
Your Obedient Servant, E. D. TOWNSEND, Asst. Adjt. Gen I. 

From General Butler 

1864 

Hon. WM. WHITING, Solicitor War Department 

MY DEAR WHITING: I return a copy of the answer to my 
communication which I forwarded through you. I have not 
asked for indemnity, but that the U. S. would assume the suit 
or strike the claims from my account, and that is the answer. 

Well, well, I can take care of myself. Thanking you for 
your attention to my requests, I have only to say that while 
I am able to bear the brunt of this case, there will be but few 
officers that will move forward to do that which they ought to 
do if they are to be let down in this manner. I understand it, 
and can only say, Tantaene irae in celestibus animis. 

Yours truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER 



VOL. V 2- 



386 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Dec. Qth, 1864 

MY DEAREST WIFE: You are gone papers are all finished, 
and I feel very lonely. I have nothing to write, but I thought 
how you might like to see yourself in a Southern dress, and so 
send these papers. ^^ BENJ 



From the Richmond "Whig" 

Wednesday morning, Nov. 30, 1864 

ANOTHER correspondent refers thus to a person who is a sad 
commentary on the bad effects of evil associations. To be the 
wife of Benj. F. Butler is to be degraded to the position of a 
"cracksman s doxie," - the easy receiver of stolen property, - 
the, in point of fact, female tutelar deity of an establishment 
which is not so much a dwelling-house as it is a "crib." 

General Butler s Wife 
(Correspondence Providence Journal) 

Some eighteen or twenty years ago a young actress, a Miss 
Hildreth, played for several evenings at the Dorrance Street 
Theatre in Providence. I happened to see her in the tragedy 
of Jane Shore. Her part was a secondary one, that of the friend 
and confidant of Edward s beautiful favorite; but her con 
ception of the character surprised me by its originality and its 
impressive truthfulness. I felt that she had a great dramatic 
talent, and often wondered that her name had so entirely 
disappeared from the stage. In the Spring of 1840, while 
visiting a friend in Lowell, I found one morning, on returning 
from a walk, a card from Mrs. Benjamin Butler, with an 
invitation to take tea with her the following evening. I went 
with my host and hostess; no other guests were invited. The 
name of Mrs. Benjamin Butler had for me at that time no other 
significance than might have had the name of Mrs. John 
Smith. On our way to the house, my host, a Webster Whig, 
spoke of Mr. Butler not too flatteringly, as a successful lawyer, 
smart but unscrupulous, ready to take up the worst cases, 
and noted for always carrying his clients through. On entering 
the parlors I was surprised to find in the charming and graceful 
lady who received us the dramatic friend and confidant of 
Jane Shore, whose talent had so much impressed me at the 
Dorrance Street Theatre. Mrs. Butler was a young lady of 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 387 

Dracut who, fascinated by the stage, and conscious of dramatic 
power, had obtained an engagement at one of the Boston 
theatres, and who was for about two years earnestly devoted 
to her profession, when Mr. Benjamin Butler proffered his 
hand and heart, and won her back to domestic life. I found 
that she still loved the art, and prevailed on her to read to me 
some of her favorite passages in Shakespeare. She read, I 
remember, the prison scene in "Measure for Measure" with 
a passionate pathos that made me half regret that the "smart 
Lowell lawyer" had won her away from Melpomene and all her 
tragic glooms and splendors. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Dec. 6, 1864 

A MOVEMENT will commence on the left to-morrow morning. 
Make immediate preparations so that your forces can be used 
north of the river if the enemy withdraw, or south if they 
should be required. Let all your men have two (2) days 
cooked rations in haversacks. During to-morrow night with 
draw to the left of your line at Bermuda the force you propose 
sending south, unless otherwise ordered. It will be well to 
get ready as soon as you can to blow out the end of the canal. 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 

From General Butler to General Grant 

Dec. 1th, 1864, 2 P.M. 

BRIG. GEN. LUDLOW made a dash upon the other side of the 
river opposite Dutch Gap and captured a half dozen of the 
enemy s pickets and drove the rest away. We now hold that 
bank, and Major Michie is engaged in making his surveys and 
soundings preparatory to opening the canal. 

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

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Dec. 7, 1864, 2.10 P.M. 

GOOD for Ludlow! Is it possible now to take advantage of 
the lodgment effected by him to carry the heights south of the 
river? Please have this matter looked into. 

Warren moved at daylight this morning. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen l. 



388 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Grant 

CITY POINT, VA., December 7th, 1864, 10 P.M. 

Major General HALLECK, WASHINGTON, D. C. 

GENERAL WARREN, with a force of about 22,000 infantry, 
six batteries, and 4,000 cavalry, started this morning with the 
view of cutting the Weldon railroad as far south as Hicksford. 
Butler at the same time is holding a threatening attitude north 
of the James to keep the enemy from detaching from there. 
To-night he has moved 6,000 infantry and two batteries across 
James River, to be embarked at Bermuda Hundred, to co 
operate with the navy in the capture of the mouth of Cape 
Fear River. Palmer has also moved, or is supposed to have 
moved, up the Roanoke to surprise Rainbow, a place the enemy 
are fortifying, and to strike the Weldon road, if successful, 
south of Weldon. To-day General Butler sent some troops 
across the river above Dutch Gap and captured the pickets, 
and now holds the opposite side of the river, it being a long 
bend overflown by high tide, with no outlet except along the 
levees on the bank. I think he will be able to hold it. This 
may prove of advantage in opening the canal, and is a decided 
advantage in holding the enemy, who have long been expecting 
an attack, when it is opened. It is calculated to keep the enemy 
at home whilst Warren is doing his work. 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 42, Part I, Page 24 

From General Butler 

Col. DODGE: D~.7*i8e* 

THE "Baltic" is at Annapolis. Get her. We shall need her. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comdg. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

CIPHER. Dec. 7th, 1864 

GEN. WEITZEL S command is encamped at Signal Tower 
near Point of Rocks, and awaits orders. 

Admiral Porter telegraphs he will be ready by tomorrow. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

Hdqrs. Armies of the United States, CITY POINT, VA., Dec. 7, 1864 

LET Gen. Weitzel get off as soon as possible. We don t want 

the Navy to wait an hour. TT a ^ T . n 

J U. S. GRANT, Lieut. Gen. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 389 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. Va.&N. C. Army of the James, in the Field, VA., Dec. 7th, 1864 

Major General SCHENCK, Committee on Military Affairs, 
House of Representatives, WASHINGTON, D. C. 

GENERAL : At your request, in view of the conversation which 
was held between us upon the necessity of reorganizing the 
Army, I will endeavor to put on paper, as well as I can amid 
the pressure of my engagements in the field, the views which 
I expressed to you. 

Some of the difficulties to be avoided or met by reorganizing 
are as follows: 

1st. The impossibility of keeping the force in the field neces 
sary for operations to an effective standard. 

2nd. The want of instruction to the recruits, both officers 
and men, that are sent into the field, rendering them for months 
nearly useless. 

3rd. The want of any reserve force so in case of raids or 
attacks upon the Northern lines at Washington or Cincinnati 
to avoid the necessity of bringing back troops from the front 
to meet incursions of the enemy. 

4th. The impossibility of getting sick and wounded men who 
were sent to hospitals back to their regiments. 

5th. The want of regularity of payment, accounts, and 
records of the soldiers in the field. 

6th. The great pressure upon the contract officers at the 
War Department of the records of all the details of the 
administration of the regiment. 

7th. The need of responsibility to the head of the regiment 
of the administration of the Staff Department, such as Medical, 
Pay, Quartermaster, Ordnance, and Commissary. 

8th. The want of accountability of the Staff Department 
because of the change of locations and commanders of regiments 
for the kind and quality of the equipment and stores furnished. 

The science of war and of administration of warlike affairs 
although the study of hundreds of years in Europe is practically 
comparatively new in this country. It would seem to be, 
therefore, the part of wisdom to examine and adopt so far as 
practicable the system of organization, expedients, and de 
vices which are found to be serviceable in countries where 
larger armies are permanently kept, having in view the fact 
that hereafter the necessities of this country will require a 
very much larger force than ever heretofore, because from 



390 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

the action of this war we have become essentially a warlike 
people. The argument against standing armies which pressed 
upon our fathers at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, 
that they might be wielded by a monarch against the liberties 
of the people, does not apply. The result of the late election 
convinces every reflecting mind that our "bayonets think," 
and that the sympathies, feelings, and wishes, the political 
desires and aspirations of the Army, are in full accord with 
the people at home, only lighted up with a more fervid and 
vivid patriotism; the question only, then, is viz: how the army 
of the United States, now composed of troops of twenty (20) 
different nations, and when the authority of the Union is ex 
tended over all our borders of some thirty-six (36) States or 
more, can be consolidated or nationalized as a National 
Institution as the militia was intended by provisions of the 
Constitution. 

The system of organization which is hereinafter crudely 
set forth is the result of some reflection upon the French 
organization, and is an attempt to adapt it to the wants of the 
American Army as they have pressed upon me from now nearly 
four (4) years experience in the field. The reflections of gentle 
men of skill and experience will supply many details overlooked 
by me, or not set forth in this paper. I would make the 
Regiment the unit of organization for administration, and the 
Division the unit of organization for offensive operations. 
The regiment should consist of twenty-four hundred (2400) 
men as the maximum eighteen hundred (1800) as a minimum, 
both numbers easily divisible when divided into three (3) bat 
talions of eight hundred each, consisting of companies of one 
hundred (100) men each, Captain and First, Second, and Brevet 
Second Lieutenants. Each battalion in the field should be 
under command of Lieutenant Colonel and two (2) Majors, 
the whole to be commanded by a Colonel. The men should 
be enlisted or drafted for three years, never less. 

To each battalion for the field there should be an Adjutant 
and Quartermaster taken from the line of Lieutenant by 
appointment of the Colonel. 

The staff of the regiment should be a regimental Quarter 
master, Commissary, Adjutant, Paymaster, Surgeon, all with 
rank of Captain and Asst. Surgeon. To each battalion for 
the field should be two (2) Asst. Surgeons, rank of Lieutenant, 
a first and second, and a difference of grade between the first 
and second of fifteen (15) per cent, of pay. An Ordnance 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 391 

Officer, a Lieutenant, who should be responsible for the arms 
and ordnance stores of the regiment. A Chaplain with the 
rank of Captain. The company organization other than herein 
prescribed to be as at present. 

An essential requisite of this organization is that each regi 
ment should have a home at some post fixed by the order of the 
War Department, not to be changed except upon the discon 
tinuance of the post or the disbanding of the regiment, and in 
case of discontinuance of the post a new home to be given to 
the regiment. Having a very extended front where it has been 
and will be necessary to maintain permanent garrisons or posts, 
I would make each a home of a regiment, and its home battalion 
as herein described, the garrison of one of those permanent 
posts. This post or home of the regiment should be under 
command of the Colonel, who should be selected for his qualities 
for uprightness, a disciplinarian, as a man of business, and as 
an instructor in military science. To illustrate the workings 
of this system which I propose, I take for example Fort Warren 
or Fortress Monroe, that we will say is the home of the first 
regiment, one battalion garrisons the fort, where it can be 
instructed in the school of light and heavy artillery as well as 
infantry. There should be the regimental hospital, there the 
regimental headquarters there its records there its pay 
master there its clothing depot and its depot of arms and 
equipments and all under the command of its colonel, and 
for the safe keeping and proper use of which the Colonel should 
be made responsible. The Colonel should be responsible to 
the Bureaus at Washington for all material for his regiment 
save the transportation and supplies of the battalions in the 
field; any divided responsibility simply allows waste. We 
will suppose the regiment assembled at its home. Two (2) 
of its battalions are sent into the field, sixteen hundred (1600) 
strong, under command of the senior and junior Lieut. Col., 
consisting of the most experienced officers and the best drilled 
men. The other battalion remains at its home, which should 
be a school of instruction for the officers and soldiers. The 
records of its organization as a military body, i.e. the rank 
of its officers the enlistment and discharge of the men, should 
be kept by the Adjutant, its records as an administrative body, 
to wit, its equipment, pay, and allowances, clothing, rations, 
stoppage, &c., of its officers, which should be kept by the pay 
master, in books of record well secured, to be forwarded to the 
War Office on the disbandment of the regiment all returns 



392 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

excepting field returns should be made to the regiment, and 
the Colonel of the regiment should forward duplicate tri- 
monthly abstracts to the commander of the army in the field 
and to the war office. Everything else of muster-rolls, pay 
rolls, equipment-rolls, and other records should be at the home 
of the regiment. There every person having occasion to learn 
the history of any soldier could at once obtain all the infor 
mation. From those records the pension office could be 
guarded from frauds, the pay department from mistakes, and 
the medical department from impositions. The keepers of 
all these records of detail at the regiment would relieve the war 
office of the continual pressure for information as to the per 
sonnel of the army. An inquiry could be at once answered by 
referring the applicant to the regimental records. Now then, 
the battalion in the field, either through service or in action, 
loses say two hundred (200) men, killed, wounded, or disabled. 
From the field hospital of the army those wounded and sick, 
as soon as they are able to be removed should be sent to the 
hospital of the regiment. There the surgeon would have an 
interest to see that his hospital was kept as clean as possible. 
He would be responsible for the health of twenty-four hundred 
(2400) men only, and his pride would be in the smallest number 
of sick, convalescents could be put to light duty in the home 
battalion, hardened for the exposure of the field and returned 
when in the judgment of the surgeon and colonel they were 
fit for duty. There then would be no occasion to allow the sick 
officer or soldier to go home on furlough from whence as a 
rule he rarely returns. Our present means of transportation 
by rail or steamer would enable us to do this with much greater 
facility and less expense than is the present system of transpor 
tation to general hospitals, as returning transports could take 
home the sick that would go to it from the regiment. Now 
the interest of a surgeon of a general hospital is to have as many 
patients as possible. He is made the commander of a post. 
The hospital fund depends upon the number of his inmates. 
His boast to his associates is "the number of beds he runs." 
His importance is commensurate with the number of sick he 
has, the present system places around him every inducement 
known to man not to do his duty, and having adapted the means 
to the end, we are surprised to find the result that some do not 
do their duty and return the sick as soon as recovered. The 
wonder should be that so many do their duty so well. It is 
a high praise of their integrity. Therefore commissions are 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 393 

established to examine hospitals, and rout out the men who 
should be sent to their regiments. At the home might be the 
burial place of the regiment where those not gloriously lying 
on the battle-field they had ennobled with their blood might lie 
side by side with their comrades with whom they had stood 
shoulder to shoulder in life. Fewer ties are closer than the 
companionship of a soldier s life, next to sleeping in the tomb 
of his fathers he would prefer burial with his fellows. 

Upon the returns of the Lieut. Col. of the depletion of his 
battalion to the minimum six hundred (600) men, two hundred 
(200) men with the proper officers the oldest and best in 
structed could be at once forwarded to the field to take the 
place of the disabled, and thus the force in the field be always 
kept up. 

By such means the army in the field would be continually 
kept full, so that if in the judgment of the war office or the 
Comdg. Gen l. a certain army was necessary for a given result, 
at the moment that result was about being obtained the Gen 
eral would not find himself with less than half the force required 
for that purpose, and obliged to wait as now until his force is 
filled up with uninstructed men raised by draft, or by the 
worst of all possible system, by means of bounties and substi 
tution. To fill the home battalion recruiting should be con 
tinually going on. The recruits could then be forwarded with 
out loss of time or the loss of a man to their regiment, there 
to be instructed before they went into the field. By this 
arrangement the expense of recruiting depots for the care of 
recruits and fitting them out would be saved, with their guards 
and machinery, as the recruit could be forwarded as soon as 
enlisted. 

Farther than this, there would be a place where deserters 
could be sent, examined, tried, punished, or put to duty, the 
commander of the regiment would have both his interest and 
his pride enlisted in having his deserters and absentees without 
leave men brought back. 

If necessary to resort to a draft, then this system might 
obtain. Each regiment, while it should have its home, should 
also have its locality in a given military district, which should 
be expected and called upon to furnish its proportion of the 
Army of the United States equivalent to the regiment. Then 
upon the depletion of the regiment belonging to that district 
by the loss of the two hundred men, as the supposed case, 
a draft could be made in that military district to fill up without 



394 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

disturbing the whole country with a simultaneous draft of 
many thousand men; officers from the regiment could be sent 
to that district to make the draft, saving the present system of 
Provost Marshals Depots. 

The Paymaster there having the accounts of the regiments 
always under his hand, responsible for their correctness, 
could always pay the soldier promptly; the Colonel being re 
sponsible for the requisitions which he would make for this 
purpose and the correctness of the accounts, would be an audit 
ing officer. The accounts to be audited immediately after each 
payment, and verified returns to be made to the pay depart 
ment. By such means every soldier would get his pay monthly 
like other workmen, would know where to send for it, if away 
his wife or family would know where to get their allotment 
if any, and the soldier s order on the paymaster, if it were 
necessary to give orders, would always be able to find an answer. 
And here, too, might be the savings bank of the regiment for 
each soldier to deposit his pay, to be drawn on his order, thus 
saving the loss and waste of money in the field. 

The Chaplain would be responsible for the religious instruc 
tion of the regiment, and for the instruction of the soldier s 
children at the home of the regiment. Practically, in the field 
the chaplain is nearly useless except as a sort of postmaster 
of the regiment. In saying this, I by no means mean to 
underrate the services of the chaplain or his zeal in his duty, 
but speak of his opportunities to render service. 

The regimental quartermaster, having charge of the clothing 
and equipment of the regiment, making his requisitions through 
the Colonel, would be responsible to him as well for its kind, 
its quality, and whether it came up to the inspection require 
ments of the Government, because being at a place stated, 
he would be in condition not to receive articles that were not 
proper in kind and quality, and being a permanent officer, 
dealing with a permanent body of men, he could be made 
responsible, which now issuing Quartermasters at Posts cannot 
practically be made, issuing to a body of men that they will 
never see again nor be seen by them. The regiments having 
a home, around it would cluster the wives of the soldiers and 
the disabled soldiers, and there be taken care of, and each 
regiment would be a soldier s home without further consider 
able expense to the country. There the soldier would find 
schools for his children. There with the disabled soldiers and 
soldiers wives manufacturies of clothing and equipment for 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 395 

the army could be established, and after a time the contract 
system might be substantially abolished. Indeed, by means 
of making the regiment the unit of administrative organ 
ization, with proper and efficient officers, the army might be 
a self -providing machine so far as the provision of its equipment 
and material goes, and in time of peace a portion of the soldiers 
might be usefully employed as workmen in such employments. 

The trophies of the regiment would be there its record 
of its history would be there. There would be something to be 
proud of in the memory of its deeds, and the examples set 
by the brave men who had composed it. 

This organization would also give always one-third of the 
force in reserve organized to meet any raid or attack, as if 
kept properly full there would be six hundred men (600) of 
each regiment ready to march to a given point at a moment s 
notice, with instructed officers and men more or less instructed 
and disciplined. There would need be, then, no nervousness 
about any attempted invasion by the enemy. The click of the 
telegraph would convey the order, and the railroad would con 
centrate an army of many thousand well-organized and in 
structed soldiers sooner than the invading force could march 
fifty (50) miles. 

The expense of the nine (9) months men, the six (6) months 
men, the three (3) months men, and the one (1) months men 
that have been called out since the beginning of this war, and 
who have been substantially useless to the country save for the 
moment, would more than pay the expense of the reserve 
organization during the past three years. 

This organization should farther be carried out by making 
each military district responsible for the equipment of the 
regiment, like a congressional district to be altered once in 
ten (10) years according to the change or increase of population. 

The Constitutional rights of the States as regards militia 
might be provided for by allowing the Governors of States to 
appoint the officers upon the raising of the regiment, but after 
it is once mustered into the service of the United States then 
the vacancies should be filled by appointments by the President, 
preferably from the ranks, upon some well-defined system of 
merit. 

If it is objected that we are providing for a standing army 
which cannot be decreased, it is answered that by reducing 
the force from its maximum to its minimum it is decreased 
about one-fourth at once, leaving the organization perfect. 



396 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Then, if it should be necessary at the close of the war to decrease 
the force still further, it might be done by disbanding the 
regiments in certain of the agricultural and thinly-settled 
districts, where plenty of profitable employment can be found, 
leaving only those of the city districts, where recruiting would 
probably keep them up. But the difficulty we have found in 
this war so far is not in getting rid of soldiers, but of raising 
them, and no one need fear, it seems to me, any trouble on 
that account. 

This organization would be of the greatest service to the col 
ored troops, and as they, I doubt not, are to be a permanency, 
they could at once be so organized. Specially will it fit them, 
for now their wives and families have no abiding place or 
home, and would be brought together in settlements on the 
lands about the homes of these regiments, since, as I suppose, 
these regiments would be located in the South. I would further 
have all court martials, except in cases of cashiering an officer 
or any offense punishable by death, held at the home battalion, 
and a Judge Advocate to each division to insure regularity 
of proceeding to go in the field. 

This organization should be further prefected by making 
a brigade of three (3) regiments, the effective field force of which 
would be at its maximum forty-eight hundred (4800) men, 
at its minimum thirty-six hundred (3600) the whole force 
of which would be seventy-two hundred men, reckoning the 
reserves, or at the minimum fifty-four hundred men. Two 
of these brigades in a division, the minimum strength of 
which would then be seventy-two hundred (7200) men, which 
with a proper portion of artillery and cavalry would make its 
strength about ten thousand (10,000) men, or, if at the maxi 
mum, about twelve thousand (12,000) men. 

This division could have permanently its Quartermaster 
supply, ammunition and ambulances train, and its pontoon 
train. The Headquarters both of brigade and division should 
be permanent, and located within the geographical limits in 
which its command was raised, which might form military 
geographical departments. When it should be necessary to 
bring divisions together to form an army, they would be at 
once in effective condition, and as many divisions as may 
be would then make an army for a given purpose. It will be 
seen by these means that the Staff Departments at Washington 
would be responsible for nothing but the food, ammunition, 
and transportation of the forces in the field. By this arrange- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 397 

ment also camps of paroled prisoners might be entirely avoided, 
because prisoners on parole could be sent to the home of their 
regiment. 

This also will abolish that organization which I believe the 
best judgment of military men has found not adapted to the 
wants of our country, to wit: "Army Corps," which indeed 
now are scarcely larger than the divisions herein contemplated. 

To effect the proposed organization now with the armies in 
the field, it might be best to ascertain the effective strength 
of each regiment in each State, and to consolidate them into the 
effective battalion according to districts, and filling up the 
home battalions at once by draft or recruitment according 
to the military districts from which the consolidated regiments 
come. 

I have thus, my dear General, sketched to you very imper 
fectly and crudely my idea of the organization of the army to 
render it most effective. That I have omitted much of detail, 
and that there are many imperfections in the system proposed 
which would require elaboration, cannot fail to be seen. I have 
not dealt with the general staff organization of the army or 
the general officers and their staffs, which much need reorgan 
izing, because these recaiire separate consideration. I have 
been obliged for want of time to dictate these observations to 
a phonographic writer which of itself entails many faults of 
style and arrangements, but if I have succeeded in calling atten 
tion to some method of remedying the present state of things 
which leaves our army so shorn of the efficiency which the 
bravery of its troops and the gallantry of its officers would 
under proper organization give to it I have not spent the hour 
devoted to this letter in vain. That something must be done 
is most clear, and my suggestions may at least have the effect 
of evoking some better scheme. 

Very truly yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Dec. 9, 1864, 2 P.M. 

THE steamer "Empire City" is loaded with ordnance stores 
bound for New Orleans. A telegraph from Washington just 
received shows that it is important that these stores be for 
warded. If you can dispense with this vessel let her go on, 
if not, the moment troops are debarked from her send her 

forward on her way. TT ~ 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen. 



398 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to General Weitzel 

Dec. 9th, 1864, 9 P.M. 

You will embark your command and get them off to Fortress 
Monroe as soon as possible after daylight tomorrow morning. 

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

From General Butler 

CIPHER. FORT MONROE, December 10th, 1864, 11.45 A.M. 

Lieut. Gen l. U. S. GRANT, CITY POINT 

HAS been blowing a gale ever since we arrived. Is clearing 
up a little. We are all ready, waiting for the Navy. 

Any news from Warren or Sherman? 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, VA., Dec. 10, 1864, 8.30 P.M. 

NOTHING from Sherman or Warren. Heavy cannonading 
was heard south of Petersburg, very distant, this forenoon. 

U. S. GRANT, Lt. Gen. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Dept. of Va. & No. Carolina, FORT MONROE, Dec. 10, 1864 

WM. T. BLODGETT, Esq., Chairman, NEW YORK CITY 

MY DEAR SIR: I acknowledge receipt of the pistols sent me 
through the "Arms & Trophies Department of the Metro 
politan Fair," New York. 

The beauty of the weapons, their exquisite workmanship 
and high intrinsic value, are but the least of the attributes for 
which I prize the splendid gift. Above all to know that in 
that noble charity my name was thought worthy to take place 
amongst those who deserve well of their Country is a meed of 
praise of inestimable worth, the memory of which will incite 
me to new exertion for the cause in which I am serving, and 
the tokens shall be transmitted a cherished inheritance to my 
children. y&fy grate j uUy Yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 399 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

FORT MONROE, VA., Dec. IQth, 1864 

H. A. RISLEY, Supervising and Special Agent, 

Treasury Dept., WASHINGTON 

MY DEAR RISLEY : I want you to call attention of the Secre 
tary of the Treasury again to this attempt to tax officers for 
their pay in 1863. If it had been taken then I would not 
have said a word about it, but now you are to take from 
officers that which they have already spent, and which being 
taken all at once, will leave them substantially without the 
means of supporting themselves. In my judgment, by so 
doing you w T ill raise more discontent in the army than you 
will get benefit to the Treasury of the United States. I ex 
plained my view y s to you not long since, and I wish you would 
press it upon the Secretary of the Treasury. 

Truly yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comdg. 

From General Grant 

Headquarters Armies of the United States, 
CITY POINT, VA., December llth, 1864 

Major-General BUTLER, FORTRESS MONROE 

RICHMOND papers of the 10th show that on the 7th Sherman 
was east of the Ogeechee, and within twenty-four miles of 
Savannah, having marched eighteen the day before. If you 
do not get off immediately you will lose the chance of surprise 

and weak garrison. TT c ^ r 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 42, Part I, Page 974. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, December llth, 1864 

Lieutenant-General GRANT 

GALE still continues; clouds just breaking away; all ready 
and waiting. One of Mulford s steamers just in. Charleston 
Mercury of December 6 says: "Sherman was reported yester 
day at Station No. 6 on the Georgia road, about sixty miles 
from Savannah, making for that city." No other news; 
have telegraphed this to Secretary of War. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER Major-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 42, Part I, Page 974. 



400 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From WENDELL PHILLIPS to General Butler 

BOSTON, Dec. llth, 64 

DEAR SIR: Thank you for the confidence your letter shows 
in me in my cordial regard for yourself. It would have been 
answered sooner but I have been too much away from home 
to leave me time to write. 

Your speech was not reported in our papers in the terms 
you state, but in words much stronger and wholly unequivocal. 
All understood you as I did, but let that pass, you are the 
best authority I regret the even slight allusion I made to 
it, except for one reason, that it gives me, answering your 
note, the opportunity to tell you how profoundly surprised 
all your friends hereabouts were at your speech. I do not 
refer to the comparatively small circle of technical Aboli 
tionists, but to that wide circle which regards you as the 
Genius whom the war has thrown to the surface. You must 
be aware that the roots of your popularity are in the hearts 
and gratitude of the radical wing of the Republican party, 
the earnest men of the times. Such men are fully aware of 
the danger of foolish disastrous compromise to which the 
crude notions of recently converted Democrats and Bell 
Everett men expose the nation. Such men look to you as 
one of the sure bulwarks against that danger. When your 
N. Y. speech welcomed the south back by the 8th of January, 
before a constitutional Amendment could possibly be secured, 
we radicals put the speech alongside these articles of the N. 
Y. D. Times (which say to the south, substantially, "Only 
submit, we will discuss with you in Congress all other condi 
tions"), we were, I confess, both surprised and dismayed. 
I assure you I heard such sentiments from men who have 
known and followed you for twenty years, as well as from 
those who have just learned to follow you. We know that 
you were fully aware of and alive to the contingencies to which 
the Emancipation Proclamation is exposed, and that made 
us all the more surprised at your apparent willingness to trust 
all to it. 

Remember I have never uttered in private or public one word 
implying distrust of you. With others, I have merely felt it 
impossible fully to understand the reason and full purpose of 
your speech. 

We see, of course, that such an offer as you suggest, made 
to the south and by her rejected, would give the War Demo- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 401 

crats who voted for A. L., the coveted opportunity of saying 
to their peace rivals, "There, A. L. has made honorably the 
same offer which Geo. B. McClellan would have done traitor 
ously, and you see how useless it is," but that again would be 
too dearly bought by a step which would confuse and let 
down the Northern purpose and stimulate to first; activity 
the worst elements of the Republican party its too-hasty - 
peace-makers-on-any -terms, our present rock ahead. 

Understand, my dear General, no one attacks you, there is 
no disposition that way. Men are only confused and pain 
fully surprised by the one whose course never confused them 
before and never surprised them except pleasantly. We 
wait patiently and most of us very confident that we shall 
find you all right when you fully explain yourself. 

You may be surprised by the frankness with which I tell 
you of this dissatisfaction. I do so because I know you are able 
to bear and eager for the exact truth. I am no politician 
but one anxious about your future, because counting largely 
on you to lead the true Democracy of this nation. Remember, 
we look on you as a very large part of our capital for the 
future, and we cannot afford to have you misunderstand any 
section of your countrymen. If Clay and Webster had had 
friends to tell them the truth, they would have stood where 
they longed to be, and where we hope to see you some day. 

Excuse my imposing this long letter on you only my 
very deep interest in all that concerns you can excuse it. 

Very Faithfully, WENDELL PHILLIPS 



From General Butler to Wendell Phillips 

Off WILMINGTON, December 20, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

MY DEAR Sm: That you have so much of good in your 
opinion of me is a source of exquisite gratification I am 
indeed misunderstood, taking your report as a basis. 

I foresaw, or thought I did, that this war before it is done 
is to be pushed to the bitterest extremity. That another 
draft would be necessary which must be a reality. That 
some means must be taken to bring the country up to severe 
measures. That confiscation in fee must be resorted to, in 
order to relieve ourselves from the burden of bounties, which 
are frightfully exhausting our towns and counties and there 
fore the country. A taxation, burdensome, is not less so 
because it is local, not lightened by the fact that every mans 

VOL. V 26 



402 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

property may be taken on execution to pay it, as our county 
and town debts may be collected. Indeed, I look upon this 
immense accumulation of local debt as one of the most alarm 
ing facts in our future, to be met by direct taxation borrowed 
at a rate of interest which cannot be diminished, as can a 
National debt, by sinking funds and consolidations as the 
credit of the Nation grows stronger, because these sums raised 
by cities and towns were borrowed when their credit was un 
doubted. The future will show a struggle (the next great one 
on this Continent) to get rid of the burden. You will say 
that the debt is held by men of wealth as an investment, and 
that the whole community will be interested in maintaining 
it. But look around you. The men of wealth owned the 
turnpike roads and toll bridges, the whole wealth of the State 
was interested in keeping the system up, as it was one of the 
favorite investments of fifty (50) years ago. But as soon as 
the voter found it more profitable to vote for himself a free 
bridge, to build a common road as good as the turnpike, free 
bridges were the order of the day, and turnpikes were dis 
continued. Millions were lost or sunk, another form of 
repudiation. 

Mark, I am too radical by far to complain of this. I only 
accept the fact and profit by it. 

Again, as soon as your local taxation upon the income to 
pay the interest of these debts approximates to a respectable 
portion of the income derivable from them, then the men of 
wealth will not hold them, or at a depreciated value only, 
which would be of itself the fruitful parent of repudiation. 

Further, the vote by which the Government has been 
sustained can be easily changed, and would have been if the 
leaders of the Democracy had as much brains as could be put 
in a filbert, and can and will be now, before your Constitu 
tional amendment can be acted upon by the people, if you do 
not take care. Still more the necessary harsh measures 
towards the South must be gratified to the judgments of the 
minority, as well as to the rest of mankind if they are to be 
carried out without overthrowing the Government. 

Let us see what is proposed to be done. There are at the 
South but two kinds of property lands and slaves. We 
have taken the last, and propose to take the first. Now then, 
to justify ourselves to the world to take away all cause of 
complaint by the patriotic men and there are such in the 
minority, to secure the very object you and your radical friends 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 403 

are desiring, the confiscation of slave property, to relieve our 
selves from burdens too grievous to be borne to fill up our 
armies by a volunteer process with bounties which w r ould 
only be payable in the lands of the South when the soldier 
had earned them, to prevent the very evil that you think I 
desire to bring on, to wit, a compromise to put an end to 
the amnesty proclamation, which being without limit, par 
alyzes all confiscation to unite the North, to divide the 
South and to justify to ourselves the severe action of the 
confiscation, and a languishment of the dominant men of 
the South, and to make certain that with the forfeiture of all 
their property, by rejection of a proffered amnesty which 
could never be recalled and thus the emancipation of the slave 
secured beyond all chance of being again put in issue, to make 
a case for the Supreme Court to stand upon to decide its 
validity on a not debatable ground I propose what 

An offer of amnesty and pardon so full, so fair, so just, 
except to ourselves, that all the world would cry out "Shame" 
if it were not accepted, and its rejection would bury the present 
organization so deep as to be beyond the peradventure of a 
resurrection, with to them, no objectionable word in it. 

This, I know, would not be accepted. In no event would 
the leaders have come into it. They will in the event of no 
success go to Mexico. They w T ould do so in case of amnesty, 
you never will get one of them. Now therefore, to gain this 
point to make it certain hereafter, no charge should be 
justly made that the radicals with whom I hold myself a 
representative, were not willing to deal liberally and fairly 
with the South. I swallowed the abuse poured out so freely, 
submitted to the obloquy so lavishly bestowed by my southern 
brethren; forego the epithets of brute, beast, tyrant, thief, 
robber, showered down in such delightful profusion, and 
made the offer, only as it seems to be misunderstood, by 
those who should have known me better, "Could ye not 
watch with me one hour?" 

Mark this, although it is perilous to predict. This offer 
not made by us, and rejected by them, when made by them 
will not be rejected by us. Let them after a few more victories 
come to us and say, "We will come back into the Union upon 
the old basis, and submit to the laws," and your Congress 
will receive them as we did Western Virginia and Eastern 
Virginia without any guaranty on the subject of slavery. 

When they make it, / will not agree to it, but you will need 



404 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

all your eloquence, and / all the firmness I can muster to 
prevent its acceptance. The Nation, tired of war, a specious 
offer looking to peace, twenty -five thousand (25,000) voters 
in three (3) great States, able to change the result of the late 
presidential election, my word for it, when that is made by 
them, you will wish that it had been earlier made by us and 
rejected by them, so as to have passed beyond the pale of 
negotiation. 

Look at your Congress and your President two com 
mittees on the subject of reconstruction and receiving back 
loyal (?) states, and none on confiscation. An amnesty 
proclamation, as full as anything I proposed, indefinitely 
open a confiscation bill emasculated by resolution, a loyal 
Virginia legislature electing two (2) senators of the United 
States by a vote of nine (9) to six (6), neither of whom is 
pledged to emancipation a single disaster, as a single 
victory as did Atlanta, may turn your majority. Verily is 
there no danger? Not to be stayed by the Supreme Court, 
for did not Chase fail you in Ohio and was not the girl Margaret 
sent back? 

Judas betrayed his Master Peter denied him in the hour 
of danger, but Paul the lawyer, one of the persecutors, stood 
firm in bonds before Csesar, although to gain his point he 
complimented the people of Athens for being in all things 
very religious, which piece of diplomacy was so little com 
prehended by his translators as to render the phrase "too 
superstitious." 

The future will tell who is true to the country, and to free 
dom, and to that test we must leave it. 

Thanks for your frank kindness and forgive this rambling 

Yours truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER 
P.S. Excuse the manifold letter writer, but I am at sea. 



From General Butler to William Whiting 

Head Quarters, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, Army of the James, 

in the Field, VA., Dec. llth, 1864 

MY DEAR WHITING: You will see by the enclosed slips to 
what I am exposed, and the government also, by the course 
which the Smith suit has taken. 

It seems that it is understood in New York that the fellow 
Pierrepont, who goes out of his way to make an attack, is a 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 405 

special friend of the Secretary. It is asserted in the World, 
in the passage marked. 

I trust that the Secretary will make a decision one way or 
the other at once. BENJ R BUTLER> 



From Dr. William R. Findley 

CONFIDENTIAL. ALTOONA, BLAIR Co. PENNA. Nov. %8th, 1864 

[Not in chronological order]] 

To Major General B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR : In view of my relationship to the case of which I 
write, I feel sure you will pardon the liberty I have taken, in 
appealing to you. I do so with the greater confidence because 
I have lawful information that you & I have travelled the same 
road, from the West tow r ard the East, in search of the same 
light, and "that we might improve in knowledge, and learn 
to subdue our passions," - therefore I am emboldened to 
ask and hope from you a patient, candid, & kindly hearing. 

My son, Joseph R. Findley, was a student in the Polytechnic 
College of Philadelphia in April 1861, when President Lincoln 
issued his first call for seventy-five thousand soldiers to defend 
our National Capitol. He immediately sought my consent 
to volunteer that consent was promptly communicated to 
him and money to outfit him. . . . He volunteered in the 
Philadelphia National Guards regt. 

Is it not hard that, within twenty-five days of the fulfill 
ment of his three years term of service, he should suddenly 
be deprived of his long and well-earned military reputation, 
have the odium of skulking coward affixed to him and his 
future hopes & prospects be forever blasted? I don t believe 
you could do injustice intentionally, to any one. As a mason., 
especially as a Knight Templar, I know you are bound to 
cherish and practice mercy & may I not say, especially to a 
Knight Templar or the son of a Knight Templar. That son s 
honor is as dear to me as my own, nay, as my life. 

Now, General, it is not for me to prescribe how your mercy 
should be exercised in my son s case. While (& you will 
pardon me for saying it) I can t believe him guilty of cowardice, 
you, I doubt not, adjudicated his case as you then thought 
right. Now, however, if my statement of his services is 
correct, might I not venture to ask of you such interposition 
in his behalf as would not be inconsistent with the preservation 
of the discipline of your army? If his restoration to his 



406 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

command in your army would not be expedient, could you 
not signify to the Secy, of War or the President your willing 
ness that he be restored, so that he might resign, or be honor 
ably discharged, as at the end of his three years? That he 
might be at liberty to re-enter the service of his country. He 
earnestly desires to participate in that service, till the re 
bellion is utterly officially crushed, and the Union restored. 
May I not hope that you will remove the only obstacle in 
the way of his doing so, and thus relieve my humiliation and 
sorrow, & his disgrace, which I consider worse than death. 

After the expression of my admiration of your rare admin 
istrative ability at New Orleans, & in your present depart 
ment, and hoping soon to hear of you as military Governor of 
Richmond, & "the jurisdiction thereunto belonging," and 
whatever you may do in my son s case, still avowing myself 
for the Union, & the war to maintain it, I leave the matter 
with you, merely adding, "as you are brave, be merciful." 
I feel sure you will do what you believe to be right. Very 
respectfully & fraternally, & in Christian Knighthood, 

Courteously yours, WM. R. FINDLEY, M.D. 

May I hope to hear from you at your earliest convenince? 

WM. R. FINDLEY 

P.S. Dr. McMurdy and the officers of St. John s Lodge, 
of Washington City, can vouch for my being a Mason. 

This is the first time I have ever attempted to use my 
masonry to accomplish anything outside of itself. My deep, 
intense concern for my son s honor & reputation has led me 
to do so, not that I would ask you to do a wrong thing, but 
that you might grant me, as I said before, a patient, candid, 
& kindly hearing. 

If you could see your way clear to employ Capt. Findley 
in some service, under your immediate observation, no matter 
how dangerous or responsible, I think you would find occasion 
to form a different opinion of him from that you have had. 
I would be greatly disappointed if you should not find him 
competent, efficient, faithful. Pardon this additional in 
fliction, & believe me, truly &c. WM. R. F. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 407 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. of Va. & N. C., FORT MONROE, VA., Dec. 12, 1864 

W. R. FINDLEY, ALTOONA, PENN. 

SIR: I am grieved that you should have called me under 
any supposed obligations as a mason to do differently in my 
official duty from what I would do otherwise. You will 
remember that before taking our earliest obligation as the 
"Entered Apprentice," repeated through every degree, we 
were informed that there was nothing in the Masonic Oath 
which w r ould conflict with our duty to our country or to our 
God. 

If I had wronged your son in my judgment I should have 
been as ready to right it as a man, as a mason. To me, when 
he came before me, he was an officer of the United States Army 
to whom I bore official relations, and toward whom I was 
bound to act conscientiously, uprightly, and judicially. 

I will make a simple statement of his case to you, and you 
yourself shall judge, laying aside your character as a parent 
as I laid aside mine as a mason upon the propriety of his 
dismissal from the service. 

The Provost Marshal of the 10th Corps reported to me 
that Capt. Findley was found about two (2) miles in the 
rear of his regiment about (5) five o clock in the afternoon 
after their advance, under a tree cooking his supper, apparently 
well, and that for the remainder of that day, and the next 
day, during which his regiment was engaged in action, he did 
not join them, nor did he join them until the fighting was 
over. Following my custom never to have a man dismissed 
without such examination, I sent for Capt. Findley, and in 
the presence of the late lamented General Birney, w r ho was 
the commander of his Corps, questioned the Captain. I 
asked him why he was found under that tree away from his 
command, and if he was sick. He said he was not sick, but 
he remained there for he did not know where his regiment 
had gone. I asked him then to give an account of himself, 
where he spent the night. He said he went to find his regi 
ment, and failing to find it, he spent the night in the trenches 
with another regiment. I asked him if he was sure that was 
so. He said he was. I cautioned him by telling him the vice 
I punished with most severity was the vice of lying. He 
reiterated the statement. Not knowing but that statement 
was true, and that I had been misinformed, I asked him to 



408 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

step aside while I examined the case of another officer who 
was also found under the same tree with him. That officer 
admitted in substance that he skulked from his regiment, 
and that he remained under the tree all night, .that Capt. 
Findley remained with him, slept on the same blanket and 
cooked their breakfast together in the morning. I then told 
that officer to stand aside and sent for Capt. Findley, and 
asked him if the statement was true, which he had made me 
that after cooking his supper, he had left the place where he 
cooked it and spent the night in the trenches. He said he 
had made a mistake so far as spending the night in the trenches 
was concerned, that he in fact went to his regiment that night. 
I asked him if there was any reason if that statement was 
untrue why he should not be dismissed the service for lying, 
and he said "No." I then called up his companion and 
asked him to repeat the story when the Captain admitted it 
was so, that he had not returned to his regiment and had 
slept under that tree. 

Therefore, for skulking and for lying I dismissed him the 
service. My judgment approved the measure of justice given 
him, and unless some palliation which you can not give, and 
which he has not, can be shown, I cannot reverse it nor recom 
mend his reinstatement. I am grieved, sir, to state these 
particulars to you, his father, but your letter is of such a nature 
that I am bound to, for I do acknowledge the masonic obliga 
tion to aid a brother of the order in everything I can do save 
where it conflicts with my duty to my country and my God. 
I have the honor to be Very Respectfully 

Your obedient Servt., BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. ComcTg. 

From Assistant Secretary of War Dana 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, November 28th, 1864 

[Not in chronological order] 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Comd g. Army of the James 

GENERAL: B. Paul Abat, a French subject, residing in New 
Orleans, and a member of the firm of Abat and Cushman, cotton- 
brokers, has presented to this Department a claim for damages 
done to certain property in Missouri. It appears from General 
Order No. 55, Head Quarters Department of the Gulf, August 
4th, 1862, that Abat and Cushman with other cotton-brokers, 
published in the Crescent in October, 1861, a card advising 
planters not to send their produce to New Orleans, in order to 
induce foreign intervention in behalf of the rebellion. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 409 

Will you please furnish me with a copy of the manifesto in 
question, and with such other evidence respecting the course 
taken by Mr. Abat, with regard to the rebellion, as may be 
in your possession. 
I am, General, with great respect, 

Your obedient servant, C. A. DANA, Asst. Secy, of War 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Dept. of Va. & N. C., FORT MONROE, VA., December 12th, 1864 

CHAS. A. DANA, Asst. Secy, of War, WASHINGTON, D. C. 

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
communication ^relating to Abat, of the firm of Cushman, 
Abat & Co., of New Orleans. 

Abat & Cushman were both well known rebels of New 
Orleans, subscribed to the fund for the defence of the city, 
and also published a notice as one of the cotton-broker firms 
of New Orleans to all loyal planters not to bring in their cotton 
and sell it, because by that means foreign intervention would 
be procured for want of it, in favor of the Confederacy. 

His whole family were of like tendencies, and his father s 
acts could be easily ascertained by means of detectives at 
New Orleans. You will find his communication showing his 
disloyalty in the files of New Orleans papers about October, 
1861, between that and February. 

It was published in all the papers. I took it from the 
Crescent. By sending to the Era office files of the old New 
Orleans Delta may be found, in which the advertisements 
appear. I do not know as I can add anything further which 
would be of advantage to your investigations. I have the 
honor to be, very respectfully, 

Your obdt. Servant, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major Gen l. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

CIPHER. Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. and N. C., FORT MONROE, 

December IZth, 1864, 1.30 P.M. 

Major BRICE, Paymaster Gen I., WASHINGTON 

WE are about starting on our expedition where the officers 
are obliged to use their pay to support themselves on the 
transports. You will relieve them by an order directing one 
month s pay to be given them for this purpose. 

It is very necessary or I would not make the application. 
Please answer by telegram. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 1. Comdg. 



410 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Admiral Porter to General Butler 

North Atlantic Squadron, United States Flag-Ship " Malvern," 

HAMPTON ROADS, Dec. 13, 1864 

GENERAL: The rest of the fleet will leave here in three 
hours, and will proceed to the rendezvous twenty-five miles 
east of Cape Fear River. 

The powder vessel will go to Beaufort and take ninety tons 
of powder I had there. I shall follow and communicate with 
you after she leaves Beaufort for her destination. I think 
the "Louisiana" will carry the three hundred tons. She has 
now two hundred on board, and room for two hundred more, 
though that would sink her too deep. She has delayed us a 
little, and our movements had to depend on her. Very 
respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, DAVID D. PORTER, Rear-Admiral 

From General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 13th, 1864 

Hon. HENRY WILSON, U. S. Senator 

MY DEAR WILSON: What a delightful stream of obloquy is 
continually pouring. I take leave to send you the entire 
correspondence (duplicate copies) between Pierrepont and 
myself, with the documents in relation to the Smith case. 
You will then, if your patience allows you to read it, see 
whether I have done anything that a just and faithful officer 
ought not to have done. I also take leave to send you a like 
copy of sketches of a system of organization of the Armies 
which I had prepared for General Schenck. You may get 
some hints upon the subject which will be useful. I am today 
starting to Wilmington, where I hope you will hear from us. 
At least all shall be done that can be. If in the Providence 
of God I shall fall, please see to it that justice is done to my 
memory for the sake of my children, If I live (and I have no 
fear but I shall) I can take care of myself. 

Most Truly Yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to John R. Hackett 

Head Quarters, Dept. Va., & N. C. Army of the James, in the Field, 

Dec. 6th, 64 [Not in chronological order] 

SIR: I enclose you the correspondence between Pierrepont 
and myself which perhaps after his unwarrantable attack on 
me had better be published if some leading journal chooses to 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 411 

publish it. But that I leave to your good judgment. I am 
very chary in publishing where suits are pending. 

That correspondence and the accompanying exhibits will 
explain to you the precise questions at issue between Smith & 
Co. and myself. The points upon which the defence would 
rest so far as I am informed are, 

First. That the act complained of was the act of a military 
officer carrying on war, according to his discretion under the 
orders of the President of the United States, being at the time a 
Departmental commander (sent by) the President of the United 
States in the enemy s country in a captured city then necessary 
to be controlled by force of arms and under martial law, and 
that for any act so done by him he is not responsible in the 
Civil Courts to any inhabitant of that country. 

Secondly. That Smith & Company, being alien enemy at 
the time of the act done, have no civil rights, and cannot 
obtain them by subsequently taking an oath of amnesty and 
allegiance, and are bound by the act of June, 1862, so that 
they would be barred both at common law and by Statute. 

Thirdly. That having accounted to the Government for 
the property so taken as such military officer, the claim cannot 
be a personal one upon the officer but upon the Government. 

Fourthly. That the submission and finding of a commission 
mutually agreed upon by the parties is binding as between 
Smith & Co. and the defendant, so far as to remit him to his 
remedy against the Government. 

Fifthly. That the money was not the property of Smith & Co. 

Sixthly. That the money \vas the proceeds of money of 
the Confederates, and attempted to be covered by Smith & 
Co. through the United States Mint at New Orleans. 

There can be but two questions of facts, it w^ould seem to me. 

First. Were Smith & Co. then enemies? 

Secondly. Was the money the property of the United 
States or of Smith & Co? 

Please consult with Brady on the question as to the shape 
the matter should take. 

There was never so unjustifiable attack made upon mortal 
man before as by that fellow Pierrepont, especially after the 
correspondence, and I think you will say so when you read it. 
Yours truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gertl. 

P.S. You will see that the rascal Pierrepont himself de 
scribes Smith of Saratoga County, N.Y. in his letter of Feb. 



412 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

29th, 1864, and brings his client in to swear in Court that he 
is a non-resident. If such are the judges of New York 
(ex-judge, indeed) Rhadaman Hus was a saint in comparison. 
If you think the letters are evidence on the motion, I will 
send originals, at least they show the works of Pierrepont. 

Correspondence relating to the Smiths Suit against General Butler 

Treasury Department, Feb. 29<A, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: Samuel Smith of Saratoga Co., New York, 
formerly private banker in New Orleans, has a claim for $50,000 
in gold used by Gen l. Butler in 1862 for payment of his troops 
in New Orleans. I write this in the Treasury Department 
with the letter of Gen l. Butler to the Secretary before me; 
it is dated July 2d, 1862. It was supposed by the Secretary 
that as the letter of Gen l. Butler stated that the money was 
used to pay the troops, that the credit for that $50,000 would 
be found in Paymaster General s or Auditor s office. I have 
this day been over the accounts with the clerks, and no mention 
of the money appears. Will you do me the favor to say to 
what Paymaster this money was given, and in what accounts 
this $50,000 should appear? 

I am the counsel of Mr. Smith, and the Paymaster General 
suggests this as the quickest way to learn what Paymaster 
had the money. Your letter of July 2nd, 1862, only stated 
the fact that the money was paid to your troops without 
naming this, what Paymaster. 

The accounts of Hewett, Sherman, Lock, and Usher have 
all been examined, and we find no account of it. 

Will you do me the favor to reply to this at my residence, 
103 Fifth Avenue, New York City, and much oblige, 

Yours very respectfully, EDWARDS PIERREPONT 

Treasury Department, March 3rd, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Maj. Gen l. BUTLER 

GENERAL: When I had the honor to address you on the 
28th ulto. I was not as well advised as now. As counsel for 
Sam l. Smith & Co., whose $50,000 in gold was taken in New 
Orleans, and which matter you had referred to the Treasury 
together with all the papers, I have had the case examined 
and have produced Mr. Smith, and had his deposition with 
others taken here and filed. I had reached the point when 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 413 

I had supposed the money would be paid over, and the Secre 
tary undertook to find to what credit it stood, and not being 
able to find out, at the suggestion of the Paymaster General 
I wrote to you. 

I have just learned from the Secretary of War more about 
the matter. Will you do me the iavoF~tb^ inform me who has 
the money and to whom in your judgment I ought to look for it, 
and to whom it rightfully belongs? I am very respectfully, 

Your obdt., EDWARDS PIERREPONT, 

16 Wall Street, New York 

16 Wall Street, NEW YORK, 15th March, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Major General BUTLER 

GENERAL: Two weeks ago this day I wrote from Washington 
to learn where the $50,000 in gold taken from Samuel Smith 
& Co. of New Orleans now is. I wrote with yours of July 2nd, 
1862, directed to the Secretary of the Treasury, before me, in 
which you speak of this gold the letter is now on file with 
the report of Gov. Shepley and others. I am Samuel Smith s 
counsel. Will you do me the favor to say what was the 
disposition of Mr. Smith s gold, where it is, and to whom in 
your judgment it rightfully belongs. 

I also addressed you a second letter on the same subject. 
As I have no reply from either I fear that you may not have 
received them. 

To avoid accidents I will send this in duplicate, and very 

respectfully await your reply. ^ , , . 

Ever your obdt., 

EDWARDS PIERREPONT, Counsel for Samuel Smith 

Head Quarters, Dept. Va. and N. C., FORT MONROE, March list, 1864 

[Not in chronological order] 

EDWARDS PIERREPONT, Esq. 

I AM in receipt of your letter in regard to the money alleged 
to be of Samuel Smith & Co., Bankers at New Orleans, up to 
the time of the capture of that city by the United States forces. 
As you are aware, I am in the field and have therefore no 
books or papers with me relating to former transactions, and 
was obliged to wait until I had examined some memoranda 
before I could make as full an answer as I could wish. This 
must be my apology for the delay in answering your letters. 
I am now without dates and amounts, but the facts and the 
order of sequence I am quite sure will be without mistake. 

The case of Smith & Co. was as follows. Within a few 



414 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

days after my arrival in New Orleans I received information 
that the Director of the United States Mint, upon the appear 
ance of the U. S. Fleet, had fled up the Red River with 
Governor T. O. Moore and a portion of the Mint and some 
of the New Orleans Banks. 

Th^t he had deposited with Samuel Smith & Co., Bankers, 
whose place of business was next door to the Canal Bank and 
banking house, $50,000 of the specie which belonged to the 
United States. Upon further examination, it appeared that 
the Mint Director, finding the silver [too] bulky to carry 
away, had placed a large sum with Smith & Co., who had 
loaned it, or a portion of it, to the Canal Bank, which during 
some days just before the taking of the City of New Orleans 
had been redeeming its circulation in specie. That this 
silver had been paid out by the Bank to its customers and 
bill-holders. 

That Samuel Smith & Co. have received for specie $50,000 
in gold in two kegs, either from the Director or the Bank, 
which, being simply in exchange for the money of the United 
States, was of course the property of the United States, Smith 
& Co. having this idea of concealing the stolen specie of the 
United States. Thereupon I caused Samuel Smith & Co. to 
be brought before me for examination, and in the most solemn 
manner he denied as well the exchange of the silver as the 
possession of the gold or silver ; knew not where there was any 
concealed or conveyed away, owned that his books would 
show that he had no gold of any amount. I ordered his books 
and papers to be seized and examined. Finding upon his 
books, which had been altered and erased for the occasion, 
that his firm had a quantity of gold, although by no means 
the amount of $50,000, and feeling sure of my information, 
I ordered Smith to be sent to Fort Jackson. Smith thereupon 
confessed that the whole story theretofore had been a lie, and 
that he had bricked up in the air space between his safe 
and the wall of his counting house a large amount of gold and 
silver. Upon sending there we found the two kegs of $25,000 
each we were in search of, and some bags of gold and silver 
amounting to some $14 or $17,000 more, some of which corre 
sponded with some of the entries on Smith s & Co s books. 
I thereupon seized the specie and held it for the use of the 
Government. Afterwards Mr. Jacob Barker applied to me 
for a hearing upon the question of property, and whether 
there was no probable cause for holding this gold as the prop- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 415 

erty of the United States, and I appointed a commission 
consisting of General Shepley, Military Governor, Dr. Mercer, 
President of the Bank of Louisiana, and Thomas J. Durant, 
(I believe) an eminent lawyer of New Orleans, to adjudicate 
and determine these questions. A full hearing was had, 
witnesses were examined, books produced and examined, and 
counsel heard in arguments. I remember the President of 
the Canal Bank was examined and made a very lame ex 
planation of how Mr. Smith got this money out of his bank, 
and of the way he borrowed silver of the Mint. Smith s 
brother was also examined, who gave a still more lame account 
of the alteration of the books, and why there appeared in 
the cash accounts about that time so many thousand dollars 
worth of lead, and on the next page so many thousand dollars 
worth of tin. Suffice it is to say that after a laborious examina 
tion the board reported that the $14 or $17,000 of specie was 
the property of Smith Co., and should be given up to them, 
and that there was cause for holding the two kegs of $25,000 
each. This report, with the accompanying documents, was 
thereupon forwarded to the Treasury Department at Wash 
ington. All the smaller sums of $14,000 or so and papers 
returned immediately to Smith & Co. with the exception of 
about $1300 about w r hich a dispute arose between Smith 
Co. and my officers, they avowing that they had never re 
ceived the amount, and Smith claimed that they had. After 
wards, before I left New T Orleans in order that there might be 
no just cause to suspect the integrity of my officers, I paid 
Mr. Barker, Smith s counsel, the sum in dispute, and took the 
receipt; in the meantime my troops had remained unpaid for 
more than six months, and although repeated requisition had 
been made on the Treasury, still the money had not been 
transmitted. Believing that this belonged to the United 
States, as I now believe, and there being no difference at that 
date between gold and treasury notes in New Orleans, and 
but little anywhere, for reasons stated in my reports to the 
Treasury I turned over this gold from time to time to my 
Paymasters to be paid out to the troops, and it was so done, 
and when afterwards they got funds they repaid me, and 
indeed I believe it was advanced to them and returned more 
than once. The reasons why probably you cannot find that 
gold [in] the accounts of Majors Hewitt and Usher was 
that no difference was made in paying the troops between that 
and Treasury notes, and therefore receiving it and returning 



416 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

when they had funds, there would be no appearance of it. 
You will find therefore in my accounts settled at the War 
Office that I have charged myself with that amount of $50,000, 
and made myself responsible to the Government for it in a 
final settlement of my accounts, taking care that any supposed 
rights of Smith & Co. should be preserved by a written state 
ment filed with the accounts in the War Office as well as my 
report to the Treasury. In the usual case of a dispute claim, 
I should hardly have felt myself called upon to answer to the 
counsel of one party, to have given so full a statement of 
facts, but having taken this money as an executive officer of 
the Government, I have felt it my duty to make full exposi 
tions of all the facts so far as they come to my knowledge and 
are now within my recollection. I may, however, be per 
mitted to add a single fact which will perhaps be no informa 
tion to their counsel, that the two brothers Smith & Co. were 
both bitter, active, and unrepenting Rebels, who refused to 
take the Oath of Allegiance so long as I remained in New 
Orleans, and one or both I believe went to Canada to evade. 
If you should desire any other questions answered in this 
regard you have only to propose them, and if you will give 
me an opportunity to go to books and papers, I have no doubt 
but I can give you sums and dates. I have the honor to be, 
very respectfully, 

Your obdt. Servt., B. F. B., Maj. Genl. Comdg. 

Head Quarters, Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 2nd, 1862 

Not in chronological order] 

Hon. SALMON P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury 

SIR: Will be found enclosed herewith minutes of the doings 
of a commission to inquire into the seizure of the specie of 
Samuel Smith & Co. 

The finding is that the case should be sent to the depart 
ment for investigation. I should have sent the specie $50,000 
to you but this remarkable state of things exists. 

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



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 417 

a Maine one not paid since October. I shall borrow of one of 
the Banks here $50,000 more in gold (I cannot get Treasury 
notes) upon my own credit, and pledging the faith of the 
Government. This I have promised shall be refunded in 
gold in sixty days, with interest at the rate of six per cent, 
per annum, and trust that pledge will be made good, as I 
shall have to suffer the loss. I shall also obtain of Adams & 
Co. here $50,000 in Treasury notes, or there about, and by 
having the allotments unpaid here but to be paid in New 
Orleans I shall be able to have the payments completed. But 
this only pays the March payment leaving two months still 
due. May I ask therefore that my draft of $ in favor 

of Adams & Co., be honored, and a future draft not exceeding 
in all $50,000 be honored at sight, so that Adams & Co. can 
send forward the remittances to the soldiers wives which have 
been used here to pay others, and that $50,000 in gold be sent 
me to repay that which I have borrowed. I could not let my 
soldiers go longer unpaid. It was injuring the credit of the 
Government with our foes, and breeding sickness and dis 
content among my men. Trusting that this action will meet 
approval in the emergency. I am 

Most truly yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comdg. 

10 Wall St., NEW YORK, IQth March, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Maj. Gen I. BUTLER 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I am very truly obliged by your 
satisfactory letter received this hour; it fully explains the 
delay by which I had been a little annoyed. Pardon the 
suggestion, why not pass over the money to the War Office or 
to the Treasury, and leave me to such remedy there as the 
Government may think fit? 

They now say that the money is not in their hands. Please 
let me hear upon this. 

Very truly yours, EDWARDS PIERREPONT 

Headquarters, Department Va. and N. C., FORT MONROE, Mar. %Sth, 1864 

[Not in chronological order] 

Hon. EDWARDS PIERREPONT, NEW YORK 

DEAR SIR: Your note of the 26th inst. is received, and I am 
glad to be able to answer speedily. 

I am much obliged for your suggestion. When I settled 
my accounts at the War Office, the question of what should 
be done with this money of Sam Smith & Co. came under 

VOL. V 27 



418 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

discussion, and I then said to the Secretary of War that as a 
lawyer I supposed I might be held personally liable for the 
sum, and that if he would give me an order to pay over the 
money to the War Office, in such form to release me from 
responsibility, if hereafter called upon by Smith & Co., I 
should be glad to pay the money over. He doubted whether 
this could be done, and suggested that the money might be 
in my hands until the Department was called upon for it, and 
that a proper memorandum should be put on file, so that 
Smith & Go s, rights, if they had any, should be preserved, 
as well as my own. There is no difficulty in dealing with 
the money now in the same way. 

If the War Department directs an order to me to pay the 
money, either into the Treasury, or the contingent fund of 
the Department, and Smith & Co. acting under your advice 
will give me a memorandum stating that such payment shall 
relieve me from personal responsibility, I will give a draft 
for the amount, on the Asst. Treasurer of the United States, 
that will be honored at once. 

I think it but right, however, that my first note to you, 
stating the facts of the capture of the money, should be laid 
before the War Department for its information, before any 
order is made on the subject, transferring the funds to Smith 
& Co. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, y. o. s., B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. CommcTg. 

P. S. Since writing the above note I have received from 
my clerk a copy of the memorandum filed in the War Office 
at the time of the settlement of my accounts of which I have 
spoken. I had not received the copy when I wrote before or 
I would have forwarded it for your information, as I now take 

leave to do. D ,/. 77 T> -^ T> 

Respectfully, B. F. B. 



WASHINGTON, D. C., Feb. 11, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Memorandum to accompany the accounts filed in the War Dept., 
in the matter of the item of $59,855, taken from Sam 9 l. Smith <fc 
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 s Superintendent, or else gold ex 
changed by him for silver which was paid out by the Canal 
Bank after the fleet passed the forts and by Smith concealed 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 419 

by being bricked 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 of Governor 
Shepley, Dr. Mercer, President of the Louisiana Bank, and 
Thomas J. Durant, Esq., a leading lawyer of New Orleans. 
A protracted hearing was had, and full examination of evi 
dence by counsel in behalf of the claimants, and report made 
that all but two kegs containing $50,000 to 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 Paymaster Major 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 returned to their 
allegiance. They have threatened to hold the General making 
the seizure personally responsible for this amount, and he only 
desires such order may be made as will if the United States 
receive the money relieve him from personal responsibility. 

All of which is respectfully submitted, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

16 Wall Street, NEW YORK, 1st of April, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Major Gen I. BUTLER 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I am very glad to receive your letter 
of the 28th of March. I am not one of your enemies. This 
matter will now be adjusted, and I will write you some state 
ments of fact of which it is evident you are not apprised. 
Immediately after the seizure of the gold Smith came here. 
He was born in Saratoga Co., where his mother now lives, 
and he has been with her here and in Washington most of the 
time since. 

He employed Senator Reverdy Johnson and myself as his 
counsel; as the younger man I have been the more active. 
The report of the Commissioners which you appointed clearly 
established beyond all controversy that the gold belonged to 
Smith. The Commissioners so report, and the evidence re 
turned with the report abundantly established the conclusion. 



420 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

These papers, with your letter of July 2nd, 1862, are now in 
the Treasury Department, and I have complete copies of them 
all. I took Mr. Smith to Washington, and his deposition 
was taken at great length, and is now on file with the other 
papers. 

Mr. Smith is a Yankee, born of a Yankee, bred a Yankee, 
has taken the oath of allegiance, and is as true and loyal as 
you or I; he has not been in Canada at all. He tried in the 
fright and terror which prevailed in New Orleans to save his 
property in part. Dr. Mercer who acted on the Commission 
is now here. I am truly glad this matter is about to be ad 
justed. Not every one who has been in the case has the same 
desire to have it quietly settled as I have My own views 
about the case are these. I think it quite clear that you 
could not successfully resist a suit in New York brought by 
Smith to recover whatever damages he can prove. I think 
the true way to settle it is for you to pay Smith and take a 
release with the assent of the War Department. If you agree 
with me, I will see that it is done in such way as you shall say 
is liberal and just. I await your reply, 

Ever truly yours, EDWARDS PIERREPONT 

April 4th, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

EDWARDS PIERREPONT, Esq. 

MY DEAR SIR: I can only repeat my offer that whenever 
the War Department will order the money paid over to your 
client, and he shall give me a release, my draft for the amount 
will be forwarded. I am glad to hear that Mr. Smith is loyal. 
His conversion I trust is sincere. For your self, I thank you 
for your expressions of kindness and confidence, and while 
they are very gratifying indeed to one who has been so much 
maligned as I have been, yet you will see in this transaction I 
have so lived as to defy my enemies. Allow me, my dear 
sir, further to say that "ex uno disce omnes." For a while 
you will confess to yourself that you doubted my action in 
this business. 

I am as willing that every act of my official life shall be as 
thoroughly investigated as this may be. Therefore you will 
see that while I am obliged for the friendly feeling which 
prompted you to desire this case "quietly settled," still if 
those who desired otherwise had had their way I should have 
been as well-pleased: because conscious of having endeavored 
only to do my duty, an attack upon me in this case would 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 421 

have failed, and thus answered a thousand others to which 
no reply can ever be otherwise made. 

Upon the point of law which you suggest, pardon me if I 
differ from a lawyer so distinguished as yourself. I do not 
believe that a military commander in a captured city, taking 
money (contraband of war) which might be used against that 
officer s army, from an alien enemy, can be held liable for the 
Capture as a trespass and for the tort in not returning upon 
demand, which might sustain them after the enemy became 
a friend and capacitated to sue. I am inclined to believe 
that having paid the money to his government would answer 
the demand. It was to avoid this after question, however 
(I had no doubt on the first), that I hesitated to pay the 
money to the Government. Still I am rusty at the law, and 
my opinions are not now, if they ever were, worth much. 

Yours truly, B. F. BUTLER 

16 Wall Street, NEW YORK, May 4th, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: Since your proposition to pay over to Smith 
and Co. the $50,000 upon order from the Secretary of War, I 
have seen the Secretary and have just returned from Wash 
ington. The Secretary at first thought there was no objection, 
but upon consultation with Mr. Whiting, he concluded that 
as the money never came to the War Department, and as it 
was never taken by any order of the department, and as 
General Butler had retained it, on the ground that he might 
be personally liable if he paid it over, the department would 
take no action whatever as to the payment of the money. 
I think the Department acted wisely. I do not see what 
business the department has with the money which you hold 
and not they, and which they never had, and which they 
never authorized to be taken. Smith was with me, the 
Smiths both live in Ballston Spa, N. Y., where they were born, 
they long since took the oath of allegiance, the amnesty oath, 
and are ready to take any others required; they are as loyal 
as you or I. 

I propose this, send your draft for the money to any one 
in New York in whom you trust, to be paid over on full release, 
or, let any one appear for you and you may have an amicable 
suit in any Court in New York, United States Court or State 
Court, as you please. 

This is not a hostile, but a friendly proposition, as any one 



422 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

will tell you; otherwise you force me to a suit by long publica 
tions in the newspapers as you are not a resident. I await 
your reply, and am truly yours, 

EDWARDS PIERREPONT, Act. Counsel for Smith and Co. 

June bth 

I retained the above because the General was in the field, 
but your letter of last evening in the N. Y. Express causes me 
to hope for an answer to this quickly. E. P. 

16 Wall Street, October 26^, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Major General BUTLER 

MY DEAR SIR: You leave Mr. Smith no alternative but to 
commence an action. It is not necessary that there be any 
publications in the papers if you will authorize any atty. to 
appear for you, but otherwise it is necessary. 

I do not wish any publications unless you wish it. Please 
let me know your atty. at once if you have one here. 

Truly, EDWARDS PIERREPONT 

Headqrs. near Varina, Oct. %8th, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Hon. EDWARDS PIERREPONT, Counsellor at Law, 16 Wall Street 
MY DEAR SIR: Your note enclosing the summons and 
complaint in the case of Mr. Smith and brother was received 
last evening in the field. I hasten to answer. 

Although not a resident of New York, or amenable to the 
jurisdiction of her Courts, so that a summons could hardly 
bring me in, yet I shall at once acknowledge service, and 
instruct my attorney, John K. Hackett, Esq., to make answer. 
Having done this, I shall rely upon your courtesy to allow me 
a little time to go to Washington to make the following disposi 
tion of the cause. When you desired me to assent to a friendly 
suit, I could make no answer to the proposition because as an 
official I could do nothing in any way to compromise the rights 
of the United States. Now however, your proceeding in 
invitum leaves me in a different situation, because although I 
am acknowledging service, still I must come to New York 
and can hardly travel in cog., you could obtain service, and 
therefore without prejudice a suit may be considered fairly 
begun. I will now apply to the War Department and ask 
the Government to assume the defence; if that is done, then 
I have no farther interest in the matter. If not, then I am at 
liberty to arrange with your client or contest the suit as I 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 423 

choose, and am left free to negotiate about a matter in which 
I can have no personal interest except to save myself from 
loss. So soon, therefore, as I can get away, which I hope to 
do in a few days, I will make answer, or will meet you as you 
prefer, and be able to state exactly my position on the sub 
ject. Of course the suit, if it goes forward, will be removed 
into the Courts of the United States. 

You will not need to be told that these suggestions do not 
proceed from any desire to delay your clients, but in fact to 
further their interests if they have any. You will please 
answer me at once whether this course will meet your con 
currence. 

As to publication, I beg leave to repeat to you that I can 
have no objection to any persons knowing every fact connected 
with this transaction. The most exaggerated stories have 
been told about it privately, from which I am suffering, but 
what can I do about it that I have not done? 

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

Headqrs. near Varina, Oct. 28, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

JOHN K. HACKETT, Esq., Corporation Counsel, NEW YORK CITY 
MY DEAR SIR: I send enclosed copies of a note to Hon. 
Edwards Pierrepont, and a summons, which will explain 
themselves. You will take such steps as may be necessary 
to preserve my rights. 

I will send you in a few days the necessary papers for an 
answer if Pierrepont does not agree to my proposition. I 
hope to be with you as soon as the election is over. You will, 
of course, take the suit to the Circuit Court if it becomes 
necessary. Yoms trul ^ BENJ R BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. 



16 Wall Street, November <ind, 1864 

Major General BUTLER 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Yours received and satisfactory. 
You have been a General since you were a lawyer, and when 
you speak of jurisdiction I think you have not read our recent 
statutes. We have a way to get jurisdiction not like old way 
-But that is no matter -Your proposition is satisfactory, 
and I shall confer with your attorney. I send you my speech, 

Yours, EDWARDS PIERREPONT 



424 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Head Quarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 
FORT MONROE, VA., Dec. 10th, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

JOHN K. HACKETT, Esq. 

MY DEAR HACKETT: Mr. Camp thinks that he can get pub 
lished in the Tribune the correspondence between myself and 
Pierrepont. If you should think best, confer with him on 

the subject. v 7 T> T^ -o 

Yours truly, B. F. B. 

From William Lloyd Garrison to General Butler 

BOSTON, Dec. ISth, 1864 

SIR: I have just heard, with much surprise and deep regret, 
that for some cause or other not known to me, or to any of 
his friends, Major Thorndike C. Jameson, of the 5th Rhode 
Island Regiment of Heavy Artillery, has been arrested in 
your Department, at Fortress Monroe, on his return to his 
Regiment at Newbern, N. C., and sent to Headquarters for 
trial. It is with great delicacy of feeling, and full conscious 
ness that in such cases it is not for civilians to intermeddle, 
that I venture to address you in relation to his arrest. Of 
course, he must stand or fall according to the nature of the 
charges and the conclusiveness of the evidence against him. 
Having known him for many years past first, as a theological 
student at Brown University; next, as pastor of a Baptist 
church in Providence, afterward settled in Melrose in this 
state, then induced to resume his former pastoral charge in 
Providence; next, as chaplain of one of the R. I. Regiments 
earliest in the field; and, finally, as Major of the Regiment 
with which he is now connected I cannot believe that he 
has intentionally done anything criminally incompatible with 
the spirit, if he has with the letter of the military code, and 
trust and believe his innocence will be made apparent on an 
impartial trial. Aside from personal friendship in his case, 
my sole motive in presuming to address you is to state that, 
from an early period, when his standing in the pulpit was 
thereby imperilled, he openly espoused the anti-Slavery 
cause, though not connected with any anti-Slavery Society, 
and has always evinced a friendly, sympathetic interest in 
the welfare of the colored population. Since the Government 
decided to enrole black as well as white volunteers in the army, 
Major Jameson has used his influence to induce them to enlist; 
particularly for some time past in the 1st North Carolina Heavy 
Artillery (Colored), and with encouraging success. In the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 425 

jealousies and rivalries frequently growing out of such enlist 
ments, and especially aware of the anti-negro feelings which still 
bias the minds of a portion of the white officers and soldiers, I 
am apprehensive that Major Jameson may have unfortunately 
subjected himself to the ill-will and personal dislike of some 
other whose hostility to the negro would be gratified to see him 
cashiered, and who would not be scrupulous in regard to their 
testimony against him. With your attention drawn to this 
point, I am confident you will carefully inquire into the animus 
which has led to his impeachment, and closely scan the evidence 
that may be adduced to secure his conviction. Beyond this, 
it would be improper for me to make any suggestion. 

Allow me to avail myself of this opportunity to express to 
you my high appreciation of your administrative ability, your 
disinterested patriotism, and of your noble purpose to ex 
tinguish slavery and the rebellion by the same blow. Had 
others in high military stations been animated by your spirit, 
and energized by your resolute purpose, this bloody war 
would long ere this have terminated, and liberty been pro 
claimed throughout all the land to all the inhabitants thereof. 
Very respectfully yours, WM. LLOYD GARRISON 

P. S. No reply is expected to this letter, and none needed; 
therefore, in the immense pressure of your multitudinous offi 
cial duties, do not occupy a moment of your time in \vriting one. 

From D. Ileaton to General Butler 

Treasury Department, Sixth Special Agency, NEWBERN, N. C., Dec. 13th, 1864 

SIR: The important intelligence is brought to me by Mr. 
Hart, the gentlemanly correspondent of the New York Herald, 
that in a recent interview with you, you expressed your will 
ingness to alter the agreement entered into between us on the 
15th day of August last so that a larger amount of goods and 
supplies could be admitted in this military District. 

Acting upon this information, I herewith take the liberty 
of enclosing for your signature a new agreement drawn up in 
triplicate allowing the admission of $300,000 per month. 

Should your approval be given, I trust you will have no cause 
to regret the step; the reasons for an increase of supplies are 
still stronger, in my judgment, than when I last addressed you. 

Hoping to hear from you at an early date, I am General, 
Very respectfully, Your obedt. servt., 

D. HEATON, Supervising Special Agent, Treasury Department 



426 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

December 13th, 1864 

To conform with the Act of Congress approved July 2d, 
1864, concerning, among other things, commercial intercourse 
between loyal and insurrection states and the Regulations of 
the Treasury Department made in conformity therewith, it is 
hereby agreed that goods, wares, and merchandise for supply 
ing the necessities of loyal persons residing at Beaufort, More- 
head City, Newbern, Roanoke Island, Portsmouth, Newport, 
Hatteras Banks, and other places within the lines of actual 
occupation by the military forces of the United States in the 
Military District of North Carolina, may hereafter be ad 
mitted in said District to the amount, each month, of Three 
Hundred Thousand Dollars ($300,000). This agreement to 
take the place of one executed on the 15th day of August, 1864. 
D. HEATON, Supg. Spl. Agt., Treas. Dept. 

From General Butler to D. Heaton 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C. t December 9,1st, 1864 
[Not in chronological 



SIR : After conference with you I am inclined to put my views 
and what I believe to be the views of the Government on paper 
in regard to getting from the rebel lines the products of your 
district, especially cotton, turpentine, and tobacco. 

I think it would be best to receive all such products from 
any party desiring to dispose of the same, and to advance 
either in goods or money the amounts which you would be safe 
in doing, looking to the rise and fall of the markets while the 
property is in transit to Norfolk or New York for sale, and I 
would advise that you should use any money in your hands, the 
products of abandoned estates and property, for this purpose. 
By these means twenty-five (25) per cent, of the product 
would be saved the Government the resources of the rebels 
would be in so far diminished, and I am assured that in so 
doing you would be carrying out what is the policy of the 
Government. 

I have directed General Palmer to give all aid and protection 
of the military forces to all persons bringing in the products 
of the country which are to be turned over to the Treasury. 
You can call upon the Quartermaster to furnish you with such 
return transportation as he may have to aid you in this purpose, 
of course charging a proper freight to the merchandise to be 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 427 

deducted on its account of sale, which amount is to be paid to 
the Quartermaster s Department. 

Of course it will occur to you at once that there must be some 
caution used in this matter, because if it is known in the 
Confederacy that the Government is actually purchasing these 
products, it will simply cause a rise of the same in the Con 
federacy, and not give the profit between the present price in 
the United States and in the Confederacy, where it belongs 
either to the Government or to the loyal citizen who shall 
bring it in. Therefore preferably loyal citizens should be 
allowed to bring in the products of the country to you. 

I would farther suggest that as a rise of prices in the Con 
federacy would be stimulated by an unrestrained trade by all 
parties who desire to get it out, that you keep control of the 
trade by means of your permits, and although that may make 
it essentially a monopoly for the purpose of keeping down the 
prices in the Confederacy. 

These last suggestions will not apply, however, to a party 
actually raising, owning, and bringing in products whether he 
is loyal or disloyal, but applies to those who come in as go- 
betweens from the producer to the Government as traders 
merely. I am quite certain that this course of action will be 
sustained by the Treasury, as I am prepared to say it will be 
by the military authorities. I have the honor to be, Very 
respectfully, 
Your obedient servant, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 1. Comdg. 

From President Lincoln 

Executive Mansion, WASHINGTON, December 13rd, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

ALL Military and Naval Commanders will please give to 
James Harrison, Esq., of St. Louis, Missouri (with any number 
of steamboats not exceeding three, taking in tow any number 
of barges, scows, flats, and the like, not having steam power, 
which they may be able to so take, with such goods and money 
as the Treasury Agents may grant permits for, under the rules 
of the Department, and none others and only with crews to 
navigate the whole and necessary provisions for himself and 
said crews) protection and safe conduct from New Orleans or 
Memphis to Red River, and up said river and its tributaries, 
till he shall pass beyond our military lines, and also give him 
such protection and safe conduct on his return to our lines, 
back to New Orleans or Memphis with any cargoes he may 



428 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

bring, and on his safe return from beyond our lines with said 
boats and tows, allow him to repeat once or twice if he shall 

ABRAHAM LINCOLN 
From James Harrison 

WASHINGTON, D. C., December 23rd, 1864 
[[Not in chronological order]] 

IN consideration that the President of the United States 
to-day delivers to me a paper of which the within is a copy. 
I pledge him my word of honor that whatever I may do there 
under shall be at my own expense and risk of person and prop 
erty, with no claim upon him or upon the government in any 
contingency whatever, that I will take absolutely nothing into 
the insurgent lines which could be of value to them, except the 
boats, tows, goods, money, and provisions as stated; and that I 
will not take said boats, tows, and other matters stated or any 
of them, into said insurgent lines unless I shall first have the 
personal pledge of Gen. Kirby Smith, or the officer in chief com 
mand given directly by him to me, that said boats and tows 
shall without condition, safely return to our military lines. 

JAMES HARRISON 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CIPHER. CITY POINT, VA., Dec. 14, 1864 10 A.M. 

WHAT is the prospect of getting your expedition started? 
It is a great pity we were not ten or twelve days earlier. I am 
confident it would have then been successful. Have you 
heard from Palmer? The Richmond papers give no account of 
any federals on the Roanoke or Weldon Road south of Weldon. 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-Gen I. 

From General Butler 

CIPHER. Dec. Uth, 10.45 A.M. 

Lt. Gen. GRANT, on board "Ben Deford" 

PORTER started yesterday. Transport fleet are at Cape 
Henry. I am just starting. The weather for the last six days 
has been such that it would be useless to be on the coast. 

Expedition left Plymouth Wednesday last. You will 
remember that you have cut communication between Weldon 
& Petersburg. 

Everything is off in the best time possible. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 9 1. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 429 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Dept. Va., & No. Carolina, 
FORTRESS MONROE, December 16th, 1864 

Hon. P. H. WATSON, Asst. Secy, of War 

SIR: Upon consultation with Colonel Olcott about Strout s 
matter, it occurs to me that as most of his acts were committed 
before the Fraud Acts of March 3rd, 1863, he being arrested 
on the 16th of March, that he may be amenable to a provost 
court as a citizen in the employ of the government, and acting 
falsely and fraudently 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 and that speedily. 

A court martial is a very unwieldy, 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. Whiting, 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 "inopes concilii." 

So much time will be saved and so much more satisfactory 
result will be arrived at, that I myself am 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 \vith 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 \vill 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. Await 
ing your reply, I have the honor to be, Very respectfully, 
Yr. Obdt. Servt., B. F. BUTLER, Maj. General Commd g. 



430 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Rear Admiral Porter 

North Atlantic Squadron, U. S. Flag-ship "Malvern," off BEAUFORT, N. C., 

off Dec. 16, 1864 

Maj.-Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Department 
Virginia and North Carolina 

GENERAL: I take advantage of the tug "Du Pont" going 
out, to write you a few lines. 

I think all the vessels will leave here to-morrow morning 
for the rendezvous, and if the weather permits, I think we will 
be able to blow up the vessel by the next night. In talking 
with engineers, some of them suggested that even at twenty- 
five miles the explosion might affect the boilers of steamers, 
and make them explode if heavy steam was carried; and I 
would advise that before the explosion takes place, of which 
you will be duly notified, the steam be run down as low as pos 
sible, and the fires drawn. 

I hear the rebels have only a small garrison at the forts at 
New Inlet. I don t know how true it is. Very respectfully, 
Your obedient servant, DAVID D. PORTER, Rear-Admiral 



From Admiral Porter to General Butler 

North Atlantic Squadron, U. S. Flag-Ship "Malvern," at Sea, Dec. 18, 1864 

GENERAL: The powder vessel "Louisiana" has gone in to 
attempt the explosion. The weather looks threatening; the 
wind may haul to the west, but it is not likely. The barometer 
is high yet, though the weather does not please me. . . . 

The powder vessel is as complete as human ingenuity can 
make her has two hundred and thirty -five tons of powder, 
all I could get, though she would not have carried much more. 

I propose standing in, the moment the explosion takes place, 
and open fire with some of the vessels at night, to prevent the 
enemy repairing damages, if he has any. . . . 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
DAVID D. PORTER, Rear-Admiral 

From Colonel Shaffer to General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. of Virginia and N. C., FORT MUNROE, Dec. 20th, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: I arrived here this morning and must 
leave on Sunday evening for home, as our Senatorial election 
comes off 2nd January, and I must be there. I regret much 
that you are not here, as I have much to say to you. I hope 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 431 

you may get up before I leave. I wish you had some other 
Naval Commander than Porter. You will have to manage him 
with great care. If I can t get to see you, I will return here as 
soon as the Senator is elected. May God grant you success. 

Yours truly, J. W. SHAFFER 

From General Butler to General Grant 

CIPHER. TELEGRAM. Off BEAUFORT, Dec. 20, 1864 

HAVE done nothing, been waiting for Navy and weather. 
Have sent full report by mail. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Off BEAUFORT, N. C., Dec. 20, 1864, 10.20 A.M. 

Lt. General GRANT, Commanding, etc., CITY POINT 

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that the troops under 
the command of Maj. Gen. Weitzel left Fortress Monroe, 
as I informed you, on Wednesday, the 14th, and got off Cape 
Henry at 4 P.M., and arrived the next afternoon at the place 
of rendezvous designated by Rear Admiral Porter. Admiral 
Porter left with the naval squadron the day previously, and as 
soon as possible after the storm. 

Fearing lest the enemy might be informed of our movements 
and guess our designation, I sent the transport fleet up the 
Potomac as far as Mathias Point, about fifty miles in the day 
time, so timing the sailing that they should arrive there after 
dark, and then during the night retrace their course and get 
off the Eastern shore near Cape Charles by daylight. This 
was cleverly done. The enemies scouts on the northern 
neck, where I see by the Richmond papers they watch the 
movement of troops on the Potomac, saw the fleet go up but 
did not see it return, so that when I left it was reported in 
Norfolk that the fleet had gone up the Potomac. 

We were exceedingly fortunate in our weather, and lay off 
New Inlet Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, in very smooth 
water and pleasant weather. The Admiral arrived on Sunday 
evening from Beaufort, having been detained there from 
Wednesday night for reasons presumed to be satisfactory. 
Sunday night the wind freshened so that it would be impossible 
to land troops on the outside near Fort Fisher. The Admiral 
was desirous to explode the torpedo vessel that night at 10 
o clock, and attack the next morning with the fleet, although 



432 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

we might not be able to land. I sent Gen. Weitzel with Lt. 
Col. Comstock, who agreed with me in opinion that as the navy 
did not propose to run by the Fort into the river, whatever 
might be the effect of the explosion it would be useless unless 
the troops could be landed to seize the point, and it would 
specially be inexpedient to explode the torpedo at that hour, 
giving eight hours for the enemy to repair damages before the at 
tack even by the fleet was made. The Admiral, upon these rep 
resentations, countermanded his orders, which had been given 
for the explosion, and we have waited until now for a smooth 
sea. Meantime I have sent my transports into Beaufort to 
coal and water, as our ten-days supply is nearly exhausted. 
Last evening I received a telegram from the Admiral by signal 
saying that the sea was so rough that it would not be possible 
to land this morning, whereupon I steamed to this port, where 
I am coaling my ship and shall return this afternoon. All 
the troops are well and comfortable, in good spirits, and so 
far without casuality. I am sorry to say the weather does not 
now look favorable. I take leave to congratulate you upon 
General Thomas victory, which is very gratifying. We have 
no news from General Sherman later than what is brought by 
the Northern papers. 

The expedition up the Roanoke has been delayed by tor 
pedoes, but I get news from General Palmer that the torpedoes 
are being cleaned out and that the movement is still going on. 
Very respectfully, Yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER, M aj. Gen l. 

Official Records, Series, Vol. 42, Part 1, Page 964. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Off BEAUFORT, Dec. 2(M, 1864 

DEAREST WIFE: I got your note last night off Wilmington. 
I am now here coaling. We have waited and lost three days, 
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, of as fine weather as ever was. 
The Admiral did not get here till Sunday night. We got here 
Thursday. He stopped at Beaufort. Your note shows mark 
of haste. I can t understand it. Very well, suppose you 
write every day when not in a hurry, and then you will be 
ready when the opportunity to send comes. You will say, 
"Why do you not take your own advice, as you will always 
write in haste." True, but then you know I am a great Bear 
and you are a dear good little wife, who always does just right 
except when she does wrong. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 433 

All well and impatient for action. Love to Blanche and the 
children. We leave for the rendezvous tonight. 

Yours, BENJ. 



From General Butler to his Mother 

At Sea off WILMINGTON, Dec. list, 1864 

MY DEAR MOTHER: I got Lizzie s letter about Frank 
Butler, and have appointed him a lieutenant in the U. S. 
Colored troops, and have so informed Mrs. Stewart. I think 
Frank will make a good officer, and take great pleasure in grant 
ing your first request for an official favor. My dear Mother, 
you will have heard where I am ere this reaches you. I am 
in the way of my duty, and trying to do honor to your care 
and teachings of my youth. 



From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

Dec. 2lst, Wed. Eve., 1864 

I HAVE written, dearest, four pages, and no chance yet to 
send it. We have not heard a word from you. If you have a 
messenger on the road he will see rough weather round Cape 
Hatter as. There is plenty of wind and rain with us W r e 
begin to be impatient for news from you. There are victories 
by Sherman and Thomas. As that is the fashion, we look for 
success from you. Victories like defeats are apt to follow in 
succession. It is so dark I must look for a light. Col. Shaffer 
is here or rather he is now at the front; will be back in the 
morning. He cannot stay to see you as there is an election 
at his home for senator that he must attend. When it is over 
he will come again, as he wishes much to see you. The suit 
you have pending in N. York troubles him very much. He 
says Stanton has denied that any return was made to the 
Government in relation to the fifty thousand dollars. Shaffer 
is after some papers from Field, by which to make some state 
ments and write an article to show a different state of things 
from the one now given to the public. He thinks Pierrepont s 
speech was terrific and very telling, and that it shows he means 
to pursue it in the most offensive manner. Shaffer said I 
had better write and say you must arm yourself to meet it, 
as it will do you vast injury. Not one of the Western papers 
has yet copied it, and all have treated you very well; but the 
speech is having an effect just where you would least like to 

VOL. V 28 



434 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

have it. Shaffer is excitable and I make allowance for that, 
but still it is clear that it is very important this suit should 
not go against you, if for no other reason than that it will open 
the way for many others. I have said nothing about it before 
to you. I do so hate to start unpleasant subjects. It is very 
plain that every successful move you make must and will be 
followed by some determined counter action. Well, they 
cannot kill, and in defiance of all, we shall be what Heaven 
has made us. I say us, for I believe in myself as well as in 
you, believe that there are few among men or women more 
I will not finish this sentence, lest haply, you may think 
whatever qualities there may be, a modest weighing of one s 
own ability is not among them. 

Now I will write you of something more agreeable. Mr. 
Peirce, cashier of a Lowell bank, came down with Field as a 
messenger from the ladies of Lowell who were on the committee 
for the Sailors Fair and the citizens of Lowell, to present you 
with a sword, sash, and belt. They are very handsome. 
I know you will feel pleased because the present comes from 
those who have known you longest. As you were away, 
I wrote a little note to Mrs. Nesmith (her name is at the head 
of the list), but did not send it as I thought you might not 
approve it. I will forward it to you. If it is not worth 
while to send it, some of it might be of use in your reply. 
Enough to save a few minutes thought. You cannot send your 
reply until you have seen the present and read the note of 

presentation. v c 

Yours as ever, SARAH 

There has not been a word from you since you left. There is 
great wonder where you are. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

BEAUFORT HARBOR, Dec. 23rd, 1864 

MY DEAREST WIFE: We have been here three days during 
a most terrible storm in which we have lost many horses but 
no lives. It is highly providential that we are so fortunate. 
I was very much opposed to taking any but first-class sea 
vessels for my troops, and the storm has shown that I thought 
right, and we are all safe with our ships because they were good. 

We start again tomorrow morning, and day after we hope to 
make the attack. 

All are well. I send you a little slip from the Tribune that 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 435 

you may see upon what stuff the English are fed. If you will 
look at the description of Mr. Dayton s death in the American 
Consul s letter to Weed in the Times, New York, of the 21st, 
you may see something that will interest you, and will be a 
guarantee of the facts of a certain narrative. Not that you 
ever doubted them. If we have fine weather now for a day or 
two, I hope to return. 

This death of Dayton may make a place for Stanton. 

Yours, BENJ. 

P. S. Tell Blanche she must perfect herself in French, and 
I think you would amuse yourself by studying it. 

From General Butler to Admiral Porter 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., December 24th, 1864, 10 P.M. 

ADMIRAL: We will endeavor to effect a landing above Flag 
Pond Hill battery, between that and Half Moon, at such an 
hour as [may] be fixed upon by consultation between yourself 
and General Weitzel, who will have command of the troops, 
and who will meet you at any hour you choose to arrange 
details. 

To do this it will probably be necessary that you should send 
such vessels as will cover the landing, and what those shall be 
is of course for your better judgment. 

We design in the first place to send on shore a party for recon- 
noissance sufficiently strong to hold the landing if we gain a 
foothold, and then to land as rapidly as possible our whole 
force, and if from the reconnoissance it is deemed practi 
cable to attempt an assault on Fort Fisher, the assault will be 
made. 

We have boats enough of our own to land the first detach 
ment. We shall ask you for any spare boats you may have, 
with their crews to pull them, to aid in the landing of our forces. 
A half dozen armed with howitzers had also better be sent. 
Will you allow these boats to report to General Graham? 
We can take them in tow from such points as you may 
designate. 

It would seem to be best that the naval attack should be 
continued with spirit and effect upon the fort, and endeavor to 
silence it and keep it silent. 

The messenger who bears this will take back an answer and 
notify General Weitzel when you will desire to see him. 

It is suggested that the landing takes place about eight (8) 



436 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

o clock, after the navy have been engaged with the fort an 
hour or more. I have the honor to be, Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. GeriL Comdg. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

Christmas Eve. t Dec. 24, 64 

ANOTHER Christmas and you away. The children are happy 
with presents. You ought to be here for the dinner tomorrow. 
We are going on as every day. Sometimes I am dull, then I 
walk round the ramparts till tired and fall asleep. It is strange 
we get no word from you. It is thought by some that the rebels 
have learned so much of your movements by the delay that the 
expedition will return. Shaffer is still here. He is very erratic. 
I am still of opinion his health and all considered that he did well 
to resign and go home. His brother has gone to N. Orleans 
again. It is well. I have many new things to tell you. I am 
in doubt if I ought to write them, because engaged as you are 
now I think you should not act on them. Still my habit is to 
tell, you must judge what is best. Before Porter left, he wrote 
to Fox that the movement would prove a failure, that the army 
had delayed and troubled him, that the force was too small, 
that if successful he should be more fortunate than the prospect 
indicated. Fox showed this letter, so that if anything adverse 
chanced, the navy might be blameless. Whitely was one of 
the persons shown the letter, that the papers might be ready 
to give credit to the navy if we win to blame the army if 
defeated. You know how Porter behaved at N. Orleans. 
He is the same man still. Do not act on this to your own 
disadvantage where you are. I do not like to irritate by writ 
ing these things. But it may be important for you to know 
them. Shaffer says, Stanton will trouble you any where he 
can about the exchange of prisoners. Mulford is true to you. 
I believe he goes to Washington. If there is anything that 
need be thought of, you could order him to where you are. 
There are other things, but they may wait till I see you, or 
until I write again. There is a rumor that Fort Fisher is taken 
and Wilmington. It is not likely that they are, but I hope 
it may be so. We have word that the rebels are reinforced. 

Dec. Wth 

A NOTE from you dated the 23rd. I was delighted to get it. 
Sorry for the loss of horses, the storm and the delay. Stackpole 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 437 

came from Newbern with the report that you had lost six 
hundred men. If you do not win I know the pack that will be 
yelping. If successful we shall hear much of the fleet from 
that kind. They irritate but cannot wound deeply. Yes, 
I read the article in the N. York Times with a strangely painful 
sinking at the heart a doubt, if evil is not the course to 
follow rather than good. A wretch like that is kept in state, 
a man in high position dies in the very room, speaking the last 
words his tongue can utter to one who lives by iniquity, and 
yet he escapes the ignominy that should attach to such an end 
ing. No matter, there are some who w r ill know. Knowing 
where he died I should be in doubt of what he died. Should 
I ever meet his family, or hear his name mentioned, it would 
only remind me in w r hose room he died, who repeated his last 
words to his wife and children. I have written too much about 
it, and ought to ask your pardon for writing so much on such 
a subject. Your new boat is here. Do not order her to 
Beaufort. I do not believe she could be safe round Hatteras. 
Besides, I hope you will be back directly. We shall take a 
sail on the Bay and leave Mrs. Heard at Mr. Webster s the 
first day it is warm and she can bear the moving. She has not 
been quite so well for a few days. I would write this over and 
leave out a portion, but they have sent for the letter, and I 

have room only left to say T7 , -, 

Yours very dearly, SARAH 

From General Butler to Admiral Porter 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C. t December Z5th, 1864 

ADMIRAL: LTpon landing the troops and making a thorough 
reconnoissance of Fort Fisher, both General Weitzel and myself 
are fully of the opinion that the place could not be carried by 
assault, as it was left substantially uninjured as a defensive 
work by the navy fire. We found seventeen (17) guns pro 
tected by traverses, two (2) only of which were dismounted, 
bearing up the beach and covering a strip of land, the only 
practicable vault not more than wide enough for a thousand 
men in line of battle. Having captured Flag Pond Hill Bat 
tery, the garrison of which sixty-five (65) men and two (2) 
commissioned officers were taken off by the Navy, we also 
captured Half Moon Battery and seven (7) officers and two 
hundred and eighteen (218) men of the 3rd N. C. Junior 
Reserves, including the commander, from whom I learn that 
a portion of Hoke s Division, consisting of Kirkland s and 



438 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Haygood s brigades, had been sent from the lines before Rich 
mond on Tuesday last, arriving at Wilmington on Friday night. 

General Weitzel advanced his skirmish line within fifty 
(50) yards of the fort, while the garrison were kept in their 
bomb proofs by the fire of the Navy, and so closely that three 
(3) or four (4) men of the picket line ventured upon the parapet 
and through the sally port of the work, capturing a horse which 
they brought off, killing the orderly who was the bearer of 
a dispatch from the Chief of Artillery of General Whiting to 
bring a light battery within the fort, and also brought away 
from the parapet the flag of the fort. This was done while 
the shells of the Navy were falling about the heads of the daring 
men who entered the fort, and it was found as soon as the fire 
of the Navy ceased because of darkness, that the fort was fully 
manned again, and opened with grape and canister upon our 
picket line. 

Finding that nothing but the operations of a siege, which did 
not come within my instructions, would reduce the fort, and 
in view of the threatening aspect of the weather, wind arising 
from the south-east rendering it impossible to make further 
landings through the surf, I caused the troops with their prison 
ers to be re-embarked, and see nothing further that can be done 
by the land forces. I shall therefore sail for Hampton Roads 
as soon as the transport fleet can be got in order. 

My engineers and officers report Fort Fisher to me as sub 
stantially uninjured as a defensive work. I have the honor to 

be, Very respectfully, v r j , 

Your obedient servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 9 1. Comdg. 
From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Dept. Va. & N.C., Dec. 25th, 1864 

As soon as the troops are re-embarked, all the transports 
and supply vessels will sail for Fort Monroe. Any vessel 
not having coal or water enough to reach there will put in to 
Beaufort, N. C. to procure the supplies and thence proceed to 
Hampton Roads with all possible despatch. 

All the transports having troops, except the "Empire City," 
will at once go up James River and land the troops at Varina 
or Deep Bottom. 

The "Empire City" will lighter her troops and land them at 
Beaufort. Vessels will be sent down to take her troops to the 
Army of the James. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 439 

As soon as coal enough can be put on the "Empire City" 
to take her to Port Royal, she will report there for full coal 
to proceed to New Orleans. 

The "Winants" will remain at the anchorage to see that all 
vessels get off and communicate these instructions, and she 
will then proceed to Beaufort and give them to the Command 
ing Officer there. 

The "Chamberlain" and "Porter" (tug) will sail with the 
fleet, the "Chamberlain" keeping in communication with the 
"Benj. Deford." The tug will accompany the "Baltic." 

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

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. and N. C., December 2Qth, 1864 

IN consequence of the troops left on shore, the order of sailing 
will be in so far amended that the "Chamberlain" will remain 
behind assisting in reembarking the troops, reporting to General 
Ames. 

As soon as that duty is performed she will proceed at once 
to Fort Monroe. 



BENJ p BuTLER) Maj Gen ^ Comdg 
From Lieutenant DeKay 

Head Quarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, December 3lst, 1864 

[Not in chronological order] 

Major Gen I. BUTLER, Comd g. 

I HAVE the honor to make the following report: On the 
evening of the 25th of December, the troops under Gen l. 
Curtis being ordered to reembark, I was ordered to attend to 
the embarkation. The "Chamberlain" and the "Winants" 
ran in as near to the breakers as they safely could and came to 
anchor. 

The Navy sent off their boats, and Captain Fitch superin 
tended the embarkation in his o\vn boats manned by his officers 
and men. 

After working till about 11 o clock P.M. in getting the 
soldiers off, the surf was so heavy that every boat which 
came inside the breakers got swamped, and most of them 
stoven in, in trying to get outside again. 

Captain Fitch, who was in a small boat, and had himself 
narrowly escaped swamping two or three times, concluded 
no more boats should go inside, but that we must wait until 
morning. 



440 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

With no shelter raining fiercely and blowing a cold strong 
wind, with no fires and nothing to eat the men lay on the 
wet sand all night every moment expecting an attack from 
a large force of the enemy on both flanks and in front. 

The wind did not abate much the next morning, but as we 
wished to communicate with Gen l. Ames and the fleet it was 
determined to try our luck. 

A boat was patched up, and a Master Haines of the "Nereus" 
volunteered to go with one or two of us, and the boat was 
brought to the water s edge. Here he backed out on consul 
tation with his crew. Another of the stranded boats was by this 
time ready, and Ensign - with a crew of 12 negroes, LaRoss 
of Gen l. Curtis staff, and I started for the "Chamberlain." 
When half way out we swamped. Once more I persuaded some 
sailors farther up the beach to try, and again we swamped. 

By this time Master Haines determined to try it, and by 
good luck we got through the breakers and reached dry deck. 

Word was sent to Com. Glisson of the state of affairs, and he 
said he would do all in his power. The "Winants" had gone 
off to the "Baltic," and on its return I sent word to Gen l. 
Ames asking what Gen l. Curtis was to do, stay where he was 
till the wind slackened or blow off shore, or march up to Maren- 
boro. He said, " Hold on where you are at all hazards." 

The sea did not go down during that day the 26th but 
Lt. Hart of Gen l. Graham s command went ashore in a small 
boat with a hawser, and although his boat swamped he got in 
safe with the rope. By passing a loop over the hawser it was 
made fast on shore and on the "Chamberlain" at both ends 
of a lifeboat. The crew could pull themselves through the 
breakers, and in this way some came out. Gen l. Curtis, how 
ever would not trust his men in it in such a surf, hence Gen l. 
Ames order. In the afternoon, finding the wind as strong as 
ever, we got some provisions, bread, coffee, pork, whiskey, 
and sent them off by fastening the casks to the life-boat, and 
then one man pulling them ashore. By this time we had a 
very long hawser, so that at a signal from us the men on shore 
could pull the boat ashore, and vice versa. 

After some difficulty I procured a signal sergeant with his 
traps and sent him ashore. Lt. Carpenter of Gen l. Graham s 
staff attended untiringly all night long to his duties. We 
arranged signals by lanterns with Capt. Pritchard Comd g. 
in Glisson s absence, so the men ashore were comparatively 
safe as they could direct the firing. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 441 

The second mate of the transport "Gen l. Lyons" took all 
the provisions through the surf to Gen l. Curtis, and although 
his boat was often bottom uppermost he still persevered until 
the rations were all ashore. He is a brave man and deserves 
great thanks. 

Capt. Blaedenheisen and his crew behaved admirably, and 
were at work all night at the hawser and at their guns, which 
were ordered to be fired at intervals all night. 

At one time Gen l. Curtis reported 6000 men advancing 
on his left and front. The navy was instantly advised, and 
a brisk fire kept up for some time in the direction indicated. 

The next morning opened unpropitiously, but later in the day 
the wind blew from shore, the sea moderated, and as requested, 
the navy sent their boats and men in plenty. 

Two more hawsers were successfully carried ashore from tw y o 
gunboats, and the embarkation went on rapidly. 

About 700 soldiers and 200 prisoners were taken off in two 
or three hours, and although every man was w^et to the skin, 
only one man was drowned and one injured by the swamping 
of a boat. 

Much praise is due to the navy for their energy and willing 
ness to help, as well as to Capt. Fitch and Lts. Hart and Swift 
of the Naval Brigade. 

I will mention Ensign Master Haines and Ensign Smith of 
the Navy as deserving most credit. 

About a dozen boats were destroyed, launches, cutters, and 
small boats. Gen l. Curtis burned them before he left. I have 
the honor to be, Very respectfully, 

Your obedient Servant, 
SIDNEY B. DEKAY, Lt. and A.D.C. 



From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. DepL Va. & N. C., December 97th, 1864 

Rear Admiral PORTER, Comd g. N. A. B. S. 

ADMIRAL: In my note to you on the evening of the 25th 
I made the statement as it was reported to me that "while the 
garrison were kept in their bomb proofs by the fire of the Navy, 
three (3) or four (4) men of the picket line ventured upon the 
parapet and through the sally port of the work, capturing a 
horse which they brought off, killing the orderly who was the 
bearer of a despatch from the Chief of Artillery of General 
Whiting to bring a light battery within the fort, and also brought 



442 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

away from the parapet the flag of the fort. This was done while 
the shells of the Navy were falling about the heads of the 
daring men who entered the fort." 

I find upon further examination that I was incorrectly 
informed, and of course incorrectly reported the fact to you. 
The men did not enter the fort. They came upon the outer 
edge of the ditch and there obtained the flag which was shot 
away the day before by the Navy fire. The orderly was killed 
outside the fort, and the horse taken there. 

I believe the truth is now upon further examination that 
nobody went into the fort. We had some twelve (12) men 
wounded on the picket line from the shells of the fleet. I make 
this correction because I think it is due to the truth of the nar 
ration of the events of the movement. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, 



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

Ed. Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., FORT MONROE, December mh, 8 P.M., 1864 

Lieut. Gen l. U. S. GRANT, CITY POINT, VA. 

I HAVE just returned from the expedition. We had a storm 
from Monday until Friday, which was the earliest hour I 
could get out of Beaufort where I had put in for coal, most 
of the transport fleet having got out of coal and water. 

Without waiting for my return, Admiral Porter exploded the 
torpedo at one (1) o clock on Friday morning and commenced 
his attack at twelve fifty-five (12.55) in the afternoon, twelve 
(12) hours afterwards. He continued the bombardment of 
the fort until night. I arrived in the evening and commenced 
landing on the beach the next morning. Got a portion on 
shore about two (2) o clock. Weitzel moved down upon the 
works, capturing three hundred (300) men, and ten commis 
sioned officers. He brought his picket line within fifty (50) 
yards of the work, where he was opened upon by canister and 
musketry. He found seventeen (17) guns bearing upon the 
beach, which was only wide enough for an assault of a thousand 
men in line, the guns protected by traverses and but one (1) 
dismounted, notwithstanding the fire of the fleet had been 
opened upon them for five (5) hours. In the meanwhile, 
the surf had so arisen as to render further landing nearly 
impracticable. After a thorough reconnaissance of the work, 
finding it utterly impracticable for a land assault, and that at 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 443 

least two (2) brigades of Hoke s Division from before Richmond 
had arrived there, and that the rest was on the road, I with 
drew the forces and ordered a reembarkment, and had got on 
board all of the troops with the exception of about three 
hundred (300) when the surf was so high as to prevent either 
getting on or off the shore. I lay by until morning and took 
measures for their relief as soon as the sea might go down. 
They were under cover of the gunboats, and I have no doubt 
they were all safely off. 

Our loss when I left was but twelve (12) wounded, ten (10) 
of whom were by the shells of the Navy on our picket line near 
the fort. I will be up on the morning. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Corndg. 

From President Lincoln to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, 9.20A.M., December ZSth, 1864 

I THINK you will find that the Provost Marshal on the eastern 
shore has by your authority issued an order not for a meeting 
but for an election. The order printed in due form was 
shown to me, but as I did not retain I cannot give you a copy. 
If the people on their own motion wish to hold a peaceful 
meeting I suppose you need not hinder them 

A. LINCOLN 

From General Butler 

CIPHER. Head Quarters, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

FORT MONROE, VA., Dec. 29th, 1864 

The President of the United States 

I HAVE just received your note relating to the election on the 
eastern shore. The President is incorrectly informed. I 
have not, nor has any officer under my command, ordered 
election on that shore. 

The inhabitants asked of me leave to hold a meeting to 
take into consideration their relations to the State Government 
of Virginia. I replied that I would not order such a meeting, 
but that if the people chose to assemble in an orderly meeting 
to petition for a redress of supposed grievance, or to consider 
any question of civil orders, I could see no military obections 
to their doing so. I should not issue any order against it but 
would permit it. I have heard nothing on the subject since, and 
do riot know even when the meeting is to be. Shall I issue an 
order to prevent their assembling to vote on civil affairs? 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 1. Comdg. 



444 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Colonel Frank J. White to General Butler 

Ed. Quarters, Provost Marshal s Office, Eastern Shore of Va., EASTVILLE, VA., 

December 30th, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

GENERAL: In obedience to your telegram received this 
morning, I have the honor to enclose the only order issued by 
me concerning an election upon this shore. This order was 
issued by me in obedience to what I supposed to be your instruc 
tions during my last interview with you at Head Quarters. 

I also enclose a notice calling for meetings which explains 
itself. No public meetings of any kind whatever were either 
held or authorized by me upon the question of an election; 
all my officers were instructed to carefully avoid any dis 
cussion whatever upon the subject in order that the vote might 
be entirely unaffected by any military influence. 

If this election had been held, the vote would have been 
unanimous for a military government. 

Before issuing the order for election, I had held meetings 
at the principal towns on the shore for the purpose of encour 
aging the citizens to employ during the coming year the un 
employed colored people of this shore. 

At these meetings no other subject was discussed, and they 
had a very beneficial effect. I have the honor to remain, 

Very respectfully your obdt. servant, 
FRANK J. WHITE, Li. Col. and Provost Marshal. 

From General Shepley 

Head Quarters District of Eastern Virginia, NORFOLK, VA., Dec. 28th, 1864 

Major Gen l. B. F. BUTLER, Comd g. Dept. of Va. & N.C. 

GENERAL: I went to the fort to-day to see you but you had 
left. I enclose copy of letter of Secy, of Treasury to Secy, 
of War referred to me with copy of my reply to Secy, of War. 

This action of the Secretary of War dispenses with military 
permits for importation into, or exportation from Norfolk 
of articles not contraband of war and consequently does away 
with the collection of the one per cent. I think he has made a 

Respectfully, Your obedient Servant 

G. F. SHEPLEY, Brig. Gen l. Com. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 445 

From General Shepley 

Head Quarters, District of Eastern Virginia, NORFOLK, VA., 

Dec. %6th, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

The Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report upon 
the endorsement of the Secretary of War, referring to me the 
communication of the Hon. Win. P. Fessenden, Secretary of 
the Treasury, dated December the 15th, 1864. 

The proclamation of the President, opening the port of Nor 
folk, proclaimed commercial intercourse with that port, except 
as to the persons and things and information contraband of war, 
subject (among other things) to such military and naval 
regulations as are now in force, or may hereafter be found 
necessary. 

The military regulations then in force, under the orders of 
the Commanding General of the Department, required a 
military permit for the importation into, or exportation from, 
the Department of all articles of merchandise. 

When the proclamation of the President took effect, upon 
a full conference between the military officers of the Depart 
ment and the officers of the Treasury, represented here by 
Mr. Risley and Mr. Hudson, it was admitted on all sides to be 
necessary, in order to prohibit contraband trade, that these 
regulations should for the present be continued in force. This 
course was supposed to be not only not in violation of the 
proclamation, but in express accordance with its terms. 

Special Orders, No. 198, referred to in the communication of 
John H. Hudson, acting Collector of Customs at Norfolk, 
and complained of by him and by the Secretary of the Treasury, 
and which, upon their complaint, I am ordered by the Secretary 
of War to revoke, was written in the presence of Mr. Hudson, 
read to and approved by him, and published at his suggestion 
and request. 

The first intimation that I have received that there was any 
objection on the part of the agents of the Treasury to that 
order or to any military supervision over the importations into 
this port, was on the receipt of his communication referred 
to me by the Hon. Secretary of War 

The repeal of that order will relieve me from an arduous 
and irksome, although it is believed a necessary, duty, so far 
as the importations into this port are concerned ; but I respect 
fully submit that if the Commanding General of this District 



446 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

be deprived of all supervision and control over the quantity 
of goods not strictly contraband of war imported into the 
District, that it will require not only the greatest vigilance to 
prevent these goods from being forwarded as supplies to the 
enemy, but a greater force thoroughly to close my exterior 
lines than the exigencies of the service elsewhere would now 
allow to be detailed for this purpose. 

Medical supplies, for instance, are not contraband of war 
by the circular of the Treasury Department dated November 
23rd, 1864. If no military permit is required for the importa 
tion of these articles into Norfolk, the collectors of the different 
ports of Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston 
may allow to be shipped any quantity of these articles to the 
port of Norfolk. 

Neither of these officers knowing what quantity has been 
permitted to be shipped from either of the other ports, has any 
knowledge by which he could limit or regulate the supply; 
but if a military permit is previously required from the Com 
manding General here, he has the means of determining at 
a glance whether or not the amount desired is disproportionate 
to the wants of the District. 

In practice, the application of every dealer for the impor 
tation of such supplies has not been granted until it has first 
been referred to the Medical Director of the District, and there 
endorsed with his certificate that the amounts applied for are 
not greater than are necessary for the legitimate supply of the 
regular customers of the applicant. 

It is easy to limit the quantity of such supplies allowed to 
come in to the port; it is extremely difficult, not to say im 
possible, when an excessive amount is allowed to come in, to 
prevent some of it finding its way into the rebel lines. 

Not more than one-tenth part of salted provisions for which 
application has been made for importation into the port of 
Norfolk has been permitted at these Head Quarters, yet the 
quantity permitted is believed to have been amply sufficient 
to supply the legitimate wants of the District. 

These illustrations could be extended almost indefinitely, 
but I have referred to them only for the purpose of showing 
that the abatement made in the communication of Mr. Hudson, 
that the military permit was issued only to collect the tax 
of one per cent, was made by him in entire ignorance of the 
necessity or the reason for such a regulation. 

The tax of one per cent is collected at Fort Monroe by an 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 447 

officer of the Commanding General of the Department of 
Virginia and North Carolina, in accordance with General Orders 
No. 40 from the Department Head Quarters, dated November 
26th, 1863, a copy of which is respectfully submitted. 

I have no means of knowing what amounts have been 
collected under that order, as the officer who has received 
them has accounted to the Commanding General of the De 
partment, and is not accountable to me. The Commanding 
General of the Department is now absent at Wilmington, 
and when he returns I will submit the communication of the 
Secretary of the Treasury to him for such action and report 
as he may deem necessary. 

For a few days subsequent to the 1st of December the 
Collectors at Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, did 
allow shippers to forward their goods to Norfolk without pro 
ducing a military permit, as stated by Mr. Hudson; these 
goods, thus shipped in good faith, were detained for a short 
time at this port for the reason that they had not the proper 
military permits, but upon the representations of the parties 
that they were informed by the Collectors that such permits 
were not necessary, the goods were released, the military 
permits were given to land them, and the parties were 
allowed to pay here the one per cent which was required, 
by the order of Major General Butler, to be collected at Fort 
Monroe. 

This was done in a few instances only for the convenience 
of the parties, and the amounts thus collected have been ac 
counted for to the officer charged by General Butler with the 
collection of this tax at Fort Monroe. The names of the per 
sons from whom these amounts were received and the amounts 
themselves are contained in the annexed list. 

I have the honor further to report that the order requiring 
military permits for the importation or exportation of goods 
from the port of Norfolk has been rescinded, as required 
by the order of the Secretary of War, and a copy of the order 
of revocation is herewith respectfully submitted. With great 
respect, I have the honor to be, 

Yourobdt. Servant, GEO. F. SHEPLEY, Brig. Gen I. Comdg. 



448 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

For Information of Head Quarters Department 

Head Quarters, District of Eastern Virginia, NORFOLK, VA., 

December IQth, 1864 [Not in chronological order]] 

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 213 Extract 

. . . BY command of the Secretary of War, military permits 
will not hereafter be required for the importation into, or 
the exportation from, the port of Norfolk, of merchandise 
not contraband of War. 

By order of Brig. Gen l. SHEPLEY, 
WICKHAM HOFFMAN, Assistant Adjutant Gen l. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 2Qth, 1864 

DEAREST: What freak do you think possessed us after you 
left? Webster came over, being Wednesday, and finally 
urged Mrs. Read and myself to go over to the play. You 
know I should not be likely to go on my own account, but 
Mrs. Read gets nervous with seeing Harriet, so do I too, and 
we go out, and run about as much as we can; our suffering is 
light compared to hers, and so to say no more of this, we con 
sented to go. It was foggy and wet. The boat was delayed 
half an hour; it was dark when we started. Within two 
or three miles of Norfolk we ran on to the wreck of the " Merri- 
mack," or the obstructions driven down by the rebels. There 
we hung by one end, three fathoms of water at the other. 
I felt anxious and vexed that I started and in doubt if we ever 
got back. We were pulled off in time, and finally went to the 
play. There our feeling must be stirred and harrassed by that 
abomination, Camille. I never saw it before, never wish to 
again. It was very well represented. But it is sickening 
that all the attractive and noblest qualities that could grace 
a woman (always excepting the one that is scarcely worthy 
to be named, virtue or chastity) should be lavished on a wanton 
to show the admiring audience that among abandoned women 
they may find an object worthy their deepest devotion. We 
meant to return last night, but I was so wearied and nervous 
with it all, that we stayed at Webster s and returned at eight 
this morning. You are again in your tent. Are the fires 
all burning, the hearths swept and the table garnished with 
meats, fresh wheaten loaves, fragrant coffee, laced with cream 
and honey from a thousand flowers? If not you had better 
come down, for I have all these, sometimes, and I should enjoy 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN P. BUTLER 449 

them if eaten in your company. You cannot answer your 
Lowell friends unless I send their note. Shall I send it? If 
you can make no use of mine, send it down, and I will alter, 
and send it to Mrs. Nesmith. I suppose you enjoyed that 
downy bed of yours, and thought it luxury to be at home again. 
Your often ship-wrecked but never to be castaway, WIFE 

From President Lincoln to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29f/t, 1864 

THERE is a man in Co. I, llth Conn. Vols., 1st Brigade, 
3rd div. 24 A.C., at Chaffin s farm, Va., under the assumed 
name of Wm. Stanley, but whose real name is Frank R. Judd, 
and who is under arrest and probably about to be tried for 
desertion. He is the son of our present Minister to Prussia, 
who is a close personal friend of Lieut. Trumball and myself. 
We are not willing for the boy to be shot, but we think it is well 
that trial go regularly on, suspending execution until further 
orders from me and reporting to me. , T 

From James W. White to General Butler 

CONFIDENTIAL. WASHINGTON, WiUard s Hotel, 10, P.M., Dec. 29<A. 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I arrived here an hour or two since, 
and am informed that the military portion of the expedition 
against Wilmington has returned to Fort Monroe, and that the 
fleet will probably return also, or cease operating. I am fur 
ther told that Admiral Porter got up a quarrel, and refused 
to co-operate with you. 

Admiral Porter s report of the expedition is published here 
this evening in an extra or 4th edition of the Republican of 
this city. I have tried to procure a copy but could not. I do 
not know the character of the report, but will send you a copy 
in the morning, although I presume that the report will be 
furnished to you from other sources before the copy I can send 
can reach you. You will have it, no doubt, in the Chronicle 
of to-morrow morning. 

There doubtless are those who will desire and may attempt 
to turn this affair to your disadvantage. I write for the pur 
pose of saying that I wish to help in defeating any such attempt; 
and with that view I request all such information as you can 
properly give me that will enable me to accomplish more effec 
tually the object I propose. I will not (of course) let it be 

VOL. V 29 



450 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

known that I have had any communication with you on the 
subject, nor will it necessarily be known that I am the writer 
of such comments as I may choose to publish, although I shall 
say nothing that I will not be ready to stand by openly if occa 
sion requires; but in no event will I, without your sanction, 
permit any one to know that you have given me any information 
on the subject. Whatever you may write shall be regarded as 
strictly confidential. 

I had a long conversation with the President on the subject of 
the Cabinet the day after I last saw you here. He was very 
non-committal, or rather reticent as to his purposes; but very 
friendly personally in his mention of you, although I could 
discern that an idea had taken possession of him that he would 
no longer be master if you were in the Cabinet; and he, at one 
time, laughed in a manner that seemed to say "that he saw 
how it would be, and knew a little too much to be caught in 
that way." I saw his apprehensions, and tried to dispel 
them; but I do not think I succeeded fully. I spoke afterward 
to old Mr. Blair about bringing you into the Cabinet, and he 
approved very warmly of the proposition. But it is exceedingly 
doubtful whether any improvement will be made in the Cabinet. 
I assured the President that you desire no appointment that 
would involve the displacement of Mr. Stanton; and I told him 
how sensibly you appreciate the courtesies for which you stood 
indebted to him and to Mr. Stanton and to General Grant. 

I might add here some other things; but during the past 
year I have not found that it was well to put too much into 
letters. 

Please to address any answer to this note that you may be 
able to send to 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, as I intend to 
leave Washington either Saturday morning or Saturday 
evening. I am, dear General, 

Most sincerely yours, JAMES W. WHITE 

From Colonel Shaffer to General Butler 

FREEPORT, Dec. 29th, 1864 

DEAR GEN L. : I arrived home this morning, and start this 
evening for Springfield. As soon as the Senatorial election is 
over I will come and see you. Bro. James is here. He has 
had an operation performed for fistula, and my Doctor says he 
is unfit for duty, but that he will soon be better than he has 
been for years. I have advised him to remain until I go, but 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 451 

he would not consent unless I would write you. I expected 

Porter would fail, d-m him. v , 7 T ^ 7 c 

Yours truly, J. W. SHAFFER 

Enclosed find private letter from Richardson, Jim gave it 
to me. He says West gave it to him in New York, and he 
washed you to see it. J. W. S. 

From D. W. C. Farringlon 

NORFOLK, VA., Dec. 29//z, 1864 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Comd g. Dept. of Va. and N.C. 

GENERAL: Enclosed please find a permit for Mr. D. Fergu 
son to bring to Norfolk one thousand bales of cotton, and also 
one to take out a certain quantity of goods. If you grant 
them, please return the same to me under seal. 

I propose to send with Mr. Ferguson an agent for the Treas. 
Dept. who will not deliver said permits to Ferguson until he 
shall first receive the cotton. 

I have sent him to you for your own signature, as you know 
more about the matter than any one here. I received a 
letter from Mr. Risley, dated Dec. 24th, in which he desires 
me to do all I can to assist Mr. Ferguson in his undertaking. 
Cotton comes in rather slowly. If proper, I should like to 
have you direct General Palmer to endorse the permits which 
emanate from this Agency, and which may extend into his 
department, if you have not already done so. 

I shall soon be able to render an account of my cotton pur 
chases under your direction, and will forward the same to you 
soon as completed. I have the honor to be, Very respectfully, 
Your obdt. servant, D. W. C. FARRINGTON 

From Colonel Kensel to General Butler 

FORT MONROE, Dec. SQth, 1864 

THE board of enquiry commenced by your orders has 
examined quite a number of witnesses belonging to the steamers 
"Florida," "Alliance," and "Atlanta," also officers and men 
of the navy who were cognizant of the occurrence, and it seems 
necessary in order to come at all the facts that Admiral Porter 
should appear as a witness, he being commander of the whole 
fleet at the time of the sinking. Do you not think it would be 
proper to summon him and place his testimony on the record? 

GEO. A. KENSEL, Lt. Col. &c. 



452 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Army James, December 30th, 1864, 8 P.M. 

Lt. Col. G. A. KENSEL, Recorder of Military Commission upon 

the casualty to the "Florida" 

YOUR telegram in relation to the summoning of Rear Admiral 
Porter as a witness before the commission is received. I 
approve the suggestion. I have no doubt Admiral Porter would 
be glad to put his testimony on record in the affair. I think 
it would be more courteous, however, to write him a note enclos 
ing the summons, and asking him to come as soon as his public 
services will permit. BENJ R BUTLER> Maj 



From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Dec. 30, 1864, 9.30 

A SEALED letter to Mr. Davis will leave here in a few minutes. 
Please have an officer at Aikens Landing to receive & pass 
it through outer lines & into the hands of a commissioned 
Confederate Officer without delay. ^ g 



From General Grant 

CITY POINT, VA., January 1, 1865 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, WASHINGTON, D. C. 

HEREWITH I submit a statement lately drawn up by Lieuten 
ant-Colonel Comstock, of my staff, who was with the expedition 
which moved against Fort Fisher. It was his views of the 
situation, and no one had a better opportunity of seeing 
than he had, and no one is more capable of judging. The fact 
is there are but two ways of taking Fort Fisher, operating 
from the water: one is to surprise them whilst there is but a 
small garrison defending the place; the other is for the navy 
to send a portion of their fleet into Cape Fear River whilst 
the enemy s batteries are kept down by the fire from the bal 
ance. Troops can then land and hold the point until the 
troops in the fort surrender. With Cape Fear River in the hands 
of the enemy, they have the same command over the sand 
spit on which Fort Fisher is built that we have. In the 
three days of good weather which elapsed after the army had 
reached the scene of action, before the navy appeared, our 
troops had the chance of capturing Fort Fisher whilst it had 
an insufficient garrison to hold it; the delay gave the enemy 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 453 

time to accumulate a force. Every preparation is now going 
on to get troops back to the mouth of Cape Fear River as soon 
as possible. The enemy may by that time have withdrawn 
Hoke s division, which went from here to Wilmington. If not, 
Admiral Porter will have to run a portion of his fleet by the 
batteries, as suggested before, or there will be no earthly 
use in landing troops. The failure before was the result of 
delays by the navy. I do not say unavoidable, for I know 
nothing of the cause, since the work to be done is likely to 
require much greater risk on their part than if the delay had 
not occurred. I know Admiral Porter to be possessed of as 
fine judgment as any other officer, and capable of taking as 
great risks. It will be necessary, however, that he should know 
and appreciate the situation in all its bearings, and be ready 
to act according to the emergency. I will write to him fully 
or send him a copy of this, and also send the same staff officer 
that accompanied the expedition before, who will lay the 
whole thing before him. It seems to me proper that these 
views should be laid before Admiral Porter by the Secretary 

of the Navy also. TT c ^ T 

U. b. GRANT, Lieutenant-Gen eral 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 46, Part II, Page 3. 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Headquarters Armies of the United States, CITY POINT, VA., January 1, 1865 

Lieut. Col. T. S. BOWERS, Assistant Adjutant-General 

SIR : I have the honor to submit some considerations on the 
recent failure at Wilmington, and on the chances of success 
of any future attempt. In my opinion the cause of the failure 
was the delay in making the attack, giving ample time to the 
enemy to put a force at Wilmington larger than the land force 
sent by us. The land forces embarked at Bermuda Hundred 
on the 8th of December, in the expectation of a very short 
delay at Fort Monroe. Owing to the weather and the powder- 
boat they did not go to sea until the 14th, arriving off Wil 
mington the night of the 15th. Three days of good weather 
then ensued, on any of which the army could have landed, the 
enemy, as we afterward were informed, having at that time 
but 400 men in Fort Fisher and about 2,500 in the vicinity of 
Wilmington. If an attack had been made it would have had 
every chance of success that could have been expected. 

On the evening of the third of these three days of fine weather 
Admiral Porter arrived, but a breeze sprang up the same night 



454 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

(December 18), making a landing impracticable. From this 
time till December 25 the army force could not land from bad 
weather, and the necessity of going into Beaufort, N. C., for 
coal and water. On the 25th a landing was effected. Pris 
oners captured from Hoke s division of Lee s army informed 
General Butler, as he told me, that Kirkland s and Hagood s 
brigades were there as re-enforcements. Seventeen days had 
elapsed since the embarkation at Bermuda Hundred and eleven 
since the departure from Fort Monroe; both army and navy 
had shown themselves at Beaufort; all chance of a surprise 
was gone; a reconnaissance of Fort Fisher from the land showed 
it uninjured; a few skirmishers went up to the work, but when 
a body of about 300 men showed themselves 1000 yards away 
from the work, they were fired on by the work; an assault 
of the work in its uninjured condition, with sixteen or seventeen 
heavy guns sweeping the ground over which the assault would 
be made, was deemed impracticable, and the troops were 
re-embarked. Prisoners who left the work in the morning 
reported the garrison to be 1000 men and gave the regiments. 

The proper method of defense of a work like Fort Fisher 
under such circumstances would be to keep its garrison in its 
bombproof s to avoid loss, firing a few guns to prevent the navy 
from running by, and only manning the parapets at the moment 
of an assault. If there were more troops than were needed for 
the defense of the work, or than could be sheltered in its bomb- 
proofs, they should be kept out of the work in the day to avoid 
loss from the navy fire, and brought back at night to resist 
any night attack. This seems to have been the method fol 
lowed. The artillery fire of the fort was very slight, as was 
the musketry fire on our skirmishers during daylight, but heavy 
after dark. We captured 200 men who had left the fort in the 
morning for want of bombproof shelter on their way back to it 
at night. 

As to future operations, I think if an equal force, say 600(0) 
men, could be placed before Fort Fisher under the same cir 
cumstances as our force was in from the 15th to the 18th of 
December, it would have a good chance of success. This 
supposes that the enemy will at once diminish the garrison 
of Fort Fisher to 400 men, and take away whatever re-enforce 
ments were sent, and in addition, that within a week from the 
embarkation here a landing can be effected there. At the 
present season this is a matter of much doubt. For a siege 
of Wilmington or Fort Fisher, the force should in my opinion, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 455 

not be less than 15,000 men. Supplying this force from 
the open beach or from Masonborough Inlet at this season of 
the year is, I think, very uncertain. If we had continued the 
landing begun on the 25th it would have, from bad weather, 
taken three days to get the men all ashore. I may add that 
at the time we were at Fort Fisher the "Tallahassee," an iron 
clad, and another small armed vessel were reported in the 
Cape Fear River, and would suggest that if the navy is able 
to silence Fort Fisher so that it cannot interfere with an assault 
on shore, it would also be able to send some vessels past Fort 
Fisher, in case another attempt was made, to prevent troops 
being annoyed by the fire of those vessels. 

C. B. COMSTOCK, Lieutenant Colonel and Aide-de-Camp 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 46, Part 2, Page 4. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Jan. 2, 1865 

PLEASE send Maj. Gen. Terry to City Point to see me this 
mornin S U. S. GRANT, Li. Gen. 

From General Grant 

Head Quarters Armies of the United States, CITY POINT, VA., January Znd, 1865 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Com d. Dept. Va. & N.C. 
SPECIAL ORDERS, A 7 o. 2 

1. EIGHT thousand infantry, with two batteries of artillery 
(without horses) from the 24th and 25th Army Corps will be 
got in immediate readiness to embark on transports, with orders 
to report to Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman, at Savannah, Georgia. 

2. They will be provided with four days cooked rations in 
haversacks. 

3. The troops and artillery of the late expedition against 
Wilmington, having experience in embarking and disembark 
ing, will be selected, and to make up the balance of the eight 
thousand, good and tried soldiers of the 2nd Brig. 1st Division 
24th Army Corps will be taken. 

4. Brevet Maj. Gen. A. H. Terry, U. S. V., is assigned to the 
command of these forces. 

5. Every practicable precaution will be observed to prevent 
information of any movement of troops getting to the enemy. 

By Command of Lieut. General GRANT 

T. S. BOWERS, Asst. Adjt. Gen l. 



456 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Grant to General Butler 

CITY POINT, Jan. 2, 1865 

I WILL be at home all day. When you were in New York 
I promised Gen. Weitzel a leave of absence from the first of 
the year for thirty days. Does he desire to go? If so, he had 
better start at once. ^ g GRANT> ^ ^ 

From General Grant to General Butler 1 

CITY POINT, Jan y 2d, 1865 

F. P. BLAIR, SR. left here yesterday to return home, thinking 
no reply would be made to his letter. I forwarded Mr. Led- 
don s letter, and I think Mr. B. may be looked for back again 
by Friday next. 

You may say so if any inquiries are made by Rebel au- 

thorities - U. S. GRANT, U. Gen. 

From General Grant 

CITY POINT, VA., January 2, 1865, 3 P.M. 

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

GENERAL SHERIDAN proposed sending another division of 
troops here, but I suspended his action. Let him get them 
to Baltimore now as soon as possible, and all the infantry on 
vessels that can go to Wilmington ready for orders. Should 
I send his troops there I will send him with them. I cannot 
go myself so long as General Butler would be left in command. 
I will state that the former expedition was put under Weitzel 
by order, and I never dreamed of Butler going until he stopped 
here on his way down the river. The operations taking place 
within the geographical limits of his department, I did not like 

to order him back. TT ^ T . , 7 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 46, Part 2, Page 9. 

From General Grant 

CITY POINT, VA., January 3rd, 1865 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

THE expedition against Wilmington will commence their 
embarkation to-morrow morning, and, if the weather will 



1 See letter of General J. W. Turner to General Butler, Jan. 30th, 1865, p. 529. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 457 

permit going to sea, will be with Admiral Porter on Friday. 
Here there is not the slightest suspicion where troops are 
going. The orders to officers commanding enjoin secrecy, 
and designate Savannah, and to report to Sherman as their 
destination. 



Lieutenant-Gen I. 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 46, Part 2, Page 18. 

From General Grant 

CITY POINT, VA., January 3rd, 1865 

Admiral D. D. PORTER, Commanding North Atlantic 
Blockading Squadron 

I SEND Maj. Gen. A. H. Terry, with the same troops General 
Butler had, with one picked brigade added, to renew the 
attempt on Fort Fisher. In addition to this, I have ordered 
General Sheridan to send a division of infantry to Baltimore 
to be put on sea-going transports, so that they can go also, 
if their services are found necessary. This will augment Gen 
eral Terry s force from 4000 to 5000 men. These troops w r ill 
be at Fort Monroe, if the transportation can be obtained 
(there is but little doubt it can) ready to sail at an hour s 
notice. General Terry will show you the instructions he is 
acting under. My view T s are that Fort Fisher can be taken 
from the water front only in two ways one is to surprise 
the enemy when they have an insufficient force; then the other 
is for the navy to run into Cape Fear River with vessels enough 
to contend against anything the enemy may have there. If 
the landing can be effected before this is done, well and good; 
but if the enemy are in very strong force, a landing may not 
be practicable until we have possession of the river. 

General Terry w^ill consult with you fully, and will be gov 
erned by your suggestions as far as his responsibility for the 
safety of his command will admit of. 

Hoping you all sorts of good weather and success, I re- 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol 46, Part 2, Page 19. 



458 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Admiral Porter 

North Atlantic Squadron, Flag-ship "Malvern," 

BEAUFORT, N. C., January 3rd, 1865 

Lieut. Gen. IT. S. GRANT, Commanding Armies of the 
United States, CITY POINT 

DEAR GENERAL: I hold it to be a good rule never to send 
a boy on a man s errand, and we must now calculate that the 
rebels, having ascertained their weakness, will take measures 
to strengthen themselves. The great thing was to effect a 
landing, which being done everything else was easy. The 
troops could have fortified themselves where they landed against 
100,000 men, covered as they were by over eighty heavy guns, 
on the gun-boats, strung all along the beach. There is no use 
fretting over the past; we must endeavor to avoid mistakes 
in the future, and if any expedition fails now to take the works, 
which were comparatively weak ten days ago, the sagacity 
of the leaders of the late expedition will be applauded. The 
failure to assault the works so battered, and the people so 
demoralized by the dreadful bombardment, will set the rebels 
to work making themselves much stronger, and this is what 
I wish to draw your attention to. We cannot stop their work 
without bringing the whole squadron into play, and firing away 
all our ammunition before the time comes for work. It is no 
joke getting in coal and ammunition, lying outside. The ships 
can only carry ten hours firing. Now I propose (if it is pos 
sible) that you send every man you can .spare here, with in 
trenching tools and fifteen 30-pounders ; the last party had not 
even a spade. An army can intrench themselves at Mason- 
borough, and stay as long as they like, if a typhoon blows the 
ships to sea. I have received a letter from Sherman. He wants 
me to time my operations by his, which I think a good plan. 
We will make a sure thing of it, but t he troops and the navy 
must be ready to strike at a moment s notice, and when the 
enemy least expects us. We will have the report spread that 
the troops are to co-operate with Sherman in the attack on 
Charleston. I hope Sherman will be allowed to carry out his 
plans; he will have Wilmington in less than a month, and 
Charleston will fall like a ripe pear. I expect you understand 
all this better than I do. I have made arrangements to keep 
communication open with Sherman from the time he starts. 
Captain Breese will give you all the latest news. I am, general, 

Very truly and sincerely, DAVID D. PORTER, Rear-Admiral 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 46, Part I, Page 20. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 459 

From General Grant 

CITY POINT, VA., January 3, 1865 

Maj. Gen. A. H. TERRY, Commanding Expedition 

THE expedition intrusted to your command has been fitted 
out to renew the attempt to capture Fort Fisher, N. C., and 
Wilmington ultimately, if the fort falls. You will then proceed, 
with as little delay as possible, to the naval fleet lying off Cape 
Fear River, and report the arrival of yourself and command 
to Rear-Admiral D. D. Porter, commanding North Atlantic 
Blockading Squadron. It is exceedingly desirable that the 
most complete understanding should exist between yourself 
and the naval commander. I suggest, therefore, that you 
consult with Admiral Porter freely, and get from him the part 
to be performed by each branch of the public service, so that 
there may be unity of action. It would be well to have the 
whole programme laid down in writing. I have served with 
Admiral Porter, and know that you can rely on his judgment 
and his nerve to undertake what he proposes. I would, 
therefore, defer to him as much as is consistent with your own 
responsibilities. The first object to be attained is to get a 
firm position on the spit of land on which Fort Fisher is built, 
from which you can operate against that fort. You want to 
look to the practicability of receiving your supplies, and to 
defending yourself against superior forces sent against you by 
any of the avenues left open to the enemy. If such a position 
can be obtained, the siege of Fort Fisher will not be abandoned 
until its reduction is accomplished, or another plan of cam 
paign is ordered from these headquarters. My own views 
are, that if you effect a landing, the navy ought to run a portion 
of their fleet into Cape Fear River, whilst the balance of it 
operates on the outside. Land forces cannot invest Fort Fisher, 
or cut it off from supplies or re-enforcements whilst the river is 
in possession of the enemy. A siege train will be loaded on 
vessels and sent to Fort Monroe, in readiness to be sent to you 
if required. All other supplies can be drawn from Beaufort as 
you need them. Keep the fleet of vessels with you until your 
position is assured. When you find they can be spared, order 
them back, or such of them as you can spare, to Fort Monroe, 
to report for orders. In case of failure to effect a landing, 
bring your command back to Beaufort and report to these 
headquarters for further instructions. You will not debark 
at Beaufort until so directed. General Sheridan has been 



460 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

ordered to send a division of troops to Baltimore and place them 
on sea-going vessels. These troops will be brought to Fort 
Monroe, and kept there on the vessels until you are heard from. 
Should you require them they will be sent to you. 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 46, Part 2, Page 25. 

From General Butler to General Grant 

CIPHER. Jan y 3rd, 1865, 10 A.M. 

I HAVE seen my Chief Quartermaster at Fortress Monroe, 
whom I have ordered here for consultation on another matter. 
I think the boats will not be ready at Fortress Monroe till 
to-morrow morning. Is that so understood by you? 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, Army of the James, 

in the Field, January 3rd, 1865 

Lieut. Gen. U. S. GRANT, commanding Armies 
of the United States 

GENERAL: On the 7th of December last, in obedience to 
your orders, I moved a force of about 6,500 effective men, 
consisting of General Ames division, of the Twenty -fourth 
Corps, and General Paine s division, of the Twenty-fifth 
Corps, under command of Major-General Weitzel, to an 
encampment near Bermuda. On the 8th the troops embarked 
for Fortress Monroe. On the 9th, Friday, I reported to Rear- 
Admiral Porter that the army portion of the conjoint expedi 
tion directed against Wilmington was ready to proceed. We 
waited there Saturday the 10th, Sunday the llth, and Mon 
day the 12th. On the 12th Rear- Admiral Porter informed 
me that the naval fleet would sail on the 13th, but would be 
obliged to put into Beaufort to take on board ammunition for 
the monitors. The expedition having become the subject of 
remark, fearing lest its destination should get to the enemy, 
in order to direct from it all attention, on the morning of 
Tuesday, the 13th, at 3 o clock, I ordered the transport fleet 
to proceed up the Potomac during the day to Mathias Point, 
so as to be plainly visible to the scouts and signal men of the 
enemy on the Northern Neck, and to retrace their course at 
night and anchor under the lee of Cape Charles. 

Having given the navy thirty-six hours start, at 12 o clock 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 461 

noon of the 14th (Wednesday) I joined the transport fleet off 
Cape Henry and put to sea, arriving at the place of rendezvous 
off New Inlet, near Fort Fisher, on the evening of the 15th 
(Thursday). We there waited for the navy Friday the 16th, 
Saturday the 17th, and Sunday the 18th, during which days 
we had the finest possible weather and the smoothest sea. On 
the evening of the 18th Admiral Porter came from Beaufort 
to the place of rendezvous. That evening the sea became 
rough, and on Monday, the 19th, the wind sprang up freshly, 
so that it was impossible to land troops, and by the advice of 
Admiral Porter (communicated to me by letter) I directed the 
transport fleet to rendezvous at Beaufort. This was a matter 
of necessity, because the transport fleet being coaled and 
watered for ten days had already waited that time, to wit, 
from the 9th, the day on which we were ready to sail, to the 
19th. 

On the 20th (Tuesday), 21st (Wednesday), 22nd (Thursday), 
and 23rd (Friday), it blew a gale. I was occupied in coaling 
and watering the transport fleet at Beaufort. The " Baltic," 
having a large supply of coal, was enabled to remain at the 
place of rendezvous with a brigade on board of 1,200 men, 
and General Ames reported to Admiral Porter that he would 
co-operate with him. On the 23rd I sent Captain Clarke, of 
my staff, from Beaufort on the fast-sailing armed steamer 
"Chamberlain" to Admiral Porter, to inform him that on 
the evening of the 24th I would again be at the rendezvous 
with the transport fleet for the purpose of commencing the 
attack, the weather permitting. At 4 o clock on the evening 
of the 24th I came in sight of Fort Fisher, and found the 
naval fleet engaged in bombarding it, the powder vessel 
having been exploded on the morning previous about 1 o clock. 
Through General Weitzel I arranged with Admiral Porter to 
commence the landing under the cover of the gun-boats, as 
early as 8 o clock the next morning if possible as soon as 
the fire of the Half-Moon and Flag-Pond Hill Batteries had 
been silenced. These are up the shore some two or three 
miles above Fort Fisher. Admiral Porter was quite sanguine 
that he had silenced the guns of Fort Fisher. He was then 
urged if that were so to run by the fort into Cape Fear River 
and then the troops could land and hold the beach without 
liability of being shelled by the enemy s gunboats (the "Tala- 
hassee" being seen in the river). It is to be remarked that 
Admiral Farragut even had never taken a fort except by 



462 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

running by and cutting it off from all prospect of re-enforce 
ment (as at Fort Jackson and Fort Morgan), and that no 
casemated fort had been silenced by naval fire during the war; 
that if the admiral would put his ships in the river the army 
could supply him across the beach as we had proposed to do 
Farragut at Fort Saint Philip; that at least the blockade of 
Wilmington would be thus effectual even if we did not capture 
the fort. To that the Admiral replied that he should probably 
lose a boat by torpedoes if he attempted to run by. He was 
reminded that the army might lose 500 men by the assault, 
and that his boat would not weigh in the balance even in a 
money point of view for a moment with the lives of the men. 
The Admiral declined going by, and the expedition was de 
prived of that essential element of success. 

At 12 o clock noon of the 25th (Sunday), Captain Glisson, 
commanding the covering division of the fleet, reported the 
batteries silenced and his vessels in position to cover our 
landing. The transport fleet following my flag-ship stood in 
within 800 yards of the beach and at once commenced de 
barking. The landing was successfully effected. Finding 
that the reconnoitering party just landed could hold the 
shore, I determined to land a force with which an assault 
might be attempted. Brevet Brigadier General Curtis, who 
deserves well for his gallantry and conduct, immediately 
pushed up his brigade within a few hundred yards of Fort 
Fisher, capturing the Half-Moon Battery and its men, who 
were taken off by the boats of the navy. This skirmish line 
advanced to within seventy-five yards of the fort, protected 
by the glacis, which had been thrown up in such form as to 
give cover, the garrison being completely kept in their bomb- 
proofs by the fire of the navy, which was very rapid and 
continuous, their shells bursting over the work with very 
considerable accuracy. At this time we lost 10 men wounded 
on the skirmish line by the shells from the fleet. Quitting 
my flag-ship, I went on board the "Chamberlain" and ran in 
within a few hundred yards of the fort, so that it was plainly 
visible. It appeared to be a square bastioned work of very 
high relief, say fifteen feet, surrounded by a wet ditch 
some fifteen feet wide. It was protected from being en 
veloped by an assaulting force by a stockade, which extended 
from the fort to the sea on the one side and from the marshes 
of Cape Fear River to the salient on the other. No material 
damage to the fort as a defensive work had been done. Seven- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 463 

teen heavy guns bore up the beach, protected from the fire 
of the navy by traverses eight or ten feet high, which were 
undoubtedly bomb-proof shelters for the garrison. With 
the garrison kept within their bomb-proofs, it was easy to 
maintain this position, but the shells of the navy, which kept 
the enemy in their bomb-proofs would keep my troops out. 
When those ceased falling, the parapet was fully manned. 
Lieutenant Walling, of the One hundred and forty-second 
New York, pressed up to the edge of the ditch and captured 
a flag, which had been cut down by a shell from the navy. 
It is a mistake, as was at first reported to me, that any soldier 
entered the fort. An orderly was killed about a third of a 
mile from the fort, and his horse taken. In the meantime 
the remainder of Ames division had captured 218 men and 10 
commissioned officers of the North Carolina Reserves, and 
other prisoners. From them I learned that Kirkland s and 
Hagood s brigades, of Hoke s division, had left the front of 
the Army of the James near Richmond, and were then within 
two miles of the rear of my forces, and their skirmishers were 
then actually engaged, and that the remainder of Hoke s 
division had come the night before to Wilmington and were 
then on the march, if they had not already arrived. I learned 
also that these troops had left Richmond on Tuesday, the 
20th. Knowing the strength of Hoke s division, I found a 
force opposed to me outside of the works larger than my own. 
In the meantime, the weather assumed a threatening aspect. 
The surf began to roll in so that the landing became difficult. 
At this time General Weitzel reported to me that to assault 
the work, in his judgment and in that of the experienced 
officers of his command who had been on the skirmish line, with 
any prospect of success was impossible. This opinion coin 
cided with my own, and much as I regretted the necessity of 
abandoning the attempt, yet the path of duty was plain. 
Not so strong a work as Fort Fisher had been taken by assault 
during this war, and I had to guide me the experience of Port 
Hudson, with its slaughtered thousands in the repulsed as 
sault, and the double assault of Fort Wagner, where thousands 
were sacrificed in an attempt to take a work less strong than 
Fisher after it had been subjected to a more continued and 
fully as severe fire; and in neither of the instances I have 
mentioned had the assaulting force in its rear, as I had, an 
army of the enemy larger than itself. I therefore ordered 
that no assault should be made, and that the troops should 



464 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

re-embark. While superintending the preparations for this 
the fire of the navy ceased. Instantly the guns of the fort 
were fully manned, and a sharp fire of musketry, grape, and 
canister swept the plain over which the column must have 
advanced and the skirmish line was returning. Working with 
what diligence we could, it was impossible to get the troops 
again on board before the sea ran so high as to render fur 
ther re-embarkation, or even the sending of supplies ashore, 
impossible. 

I lay by the shore until 11 o clock the next day, Monday, 
the 26th, when having made all proper dispositions for getting 
the troops on board, I gave orders to the transport fleet, as 
fast as they were ready, to sail for Fortress Monroe, in obedi 
ence to my instructions from the lieutenant-general. I learned 
from deserters and prisoners captured that the supposition 
upon which the lieutenant-general directed the expedition - 
that Wilmington had been denuded of troops to oppose General 
Sherman was correct ; that at the time when the army 
arrived off Wilmington there were less than 400 men in the 
garrison of Fort Fisher and less than 1,000 within twenty 
miles. But the delay of three days of good weather (the 
16th, 17th, and 18th), waiting for the arrival of the navy, 
and the further delay from the terrible storm of the 21st, 
22nd, and 23rd, gave time for troops to be brought from 
Richmond, three divisions of which were either there or on 
the road. The instructions of the lieutenant-general to me 
did not contemplate a siege. I had neither siege trains or 
supplies for such a contingency. The exigency of possible 
delay, for which the foresight of the commander of the armies 
had provided, had arisen, to wit; the large re-enforcement 
of the garrison. This, together with the fact that the navy 
had exhausted their supply of ammunition in the bombard 
ment, left me with no alternative but to return with my 
troops to the Army of the James. The loss of the oppor 
tunity of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (the 16th, 17th, and 
18th) was the immediate cause of the failure of the expedi 
tion. It is not my province even to suggest blame to the 
navy for their delay of four days at Beaufort. I know none 
of the reasons which do or do not justify it. It is to be 
presumed they are sufficient. 

I am happy to bring to the attention of the lieutenant- 
general the excellent behavior of the troops, both officers and 
men, which was all that could be desired. I am under special 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 465 

obligations to Captain Glisson, of the "Santiago de Cuba," 
for the able and efficient manner in which he covered our 
landing; to Captain Alden, of the "Brooklyn," for his prompt 
assistance and the excellent gunnery with which the Brooklyn 
cleaned the shores of all opposers at the moment of debarka 
tion. Lieutenant Farquhar, of the Navy, having in charge 
the navy boats which assisted in the landing, deserves great 
credit for the energy and skill with which he managed the 
boats through the rolling surf. Especial commendation is 
due to Brigadier-General Graham and the officers and men 
of his naval brigade for the organization of his boats and 
crews for landing, and the untiring energy and industry with 
which they all labored in re-embarking the troops during the 
stormy night of the 25th and the days following. For this and 
other meritorious services during the campaign since the 1st of 
May, which have heretofore been brought to the notice of the 
lieutenant-general in my official reports, I would respectfully 
but earnestly recommend General Graham for promotion. 

The number of prisoners captured by us was 300, including 
12 officers, 2 heavy rifled guns, 2 light guns, and 6 caissons. 

The loss of the army was 1 man drowned, 2 men killed, 1 
officer captured, who accidentally wandered through our 
pickets, and 10 men wounded while upon the picket-line by 
the shells of the navy. 

Always chary of mentioning with commendation the acts 
of my own personal staff, yet I think the troops who saw it 
will agree to the cool courage and daring of Lieut. Sidney 
B. De Kay, aide-de-camp, in landing on the night of the 25th 
and remaining aiding in re-embarkation on the 27th. For 
the details of the landing and the operations, I beg leave to 
refer you to the reports of Major-General Weitzel, command 
ing the troops, and Brigadier-General Ames, commanding 
the division landed, which are hereto appended. Trusting 
my action will meet with the approval of the lieutenant- 
general, this report is respectfully submitted. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 42, Part I, Page 966. 

From Assistant Secretary G. V. Fox 

CONFIDENTIAL. Navy Department, January kth, 1865 

(General U. S. GRANT) 

MY DEAR SIR: To-day we received despatches from Porter, 
dated the 29th ultimo, stating that the enemy are removing 

VOL. V 30 



466 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

the guns from Fort Fisher, preparatory to changing the 
arrangement of their defenses. The Philadelphia Inquirer of 
to-day has all the information contained in the documents 
that have just come from Richmond through General Butler s 
headquarters. I think last summer, after my visit to you 
with General Gillmore, that you were under the impression 
that one of us gave publicity to the object of our visit. I 
trusted to time to enable you to discover all the leaks in the 
vicinity of your headquarters. Mr. Blair Sr., alone, will 
leave Washington Saturday, and arrive off City Point about 
noon, in the screw steamer "Don," Captain Parker, com 
manding the Potomac Flotilla. As he goes by consent of the 
President, at the request of Mr. Davis, I ask for Mr. Blair 
that you will make arrangements to get him through com 
fortably as early as practicable, and as secretly. I have 
suggested to him to lay-to off City Point, and let an officer 
go on shore from the vessel and receive your directions as to 
the best method of going through. The "Don" can go up as 
far as desired, and remain until Mr. Blair returns, and I will 
direct Captain Parker to report to you and receive any direc 
tions you may give. 

Please acknowledge the receipt of this letter by telegraph. 

I got the President to put into the old capitol the man who 
caused to be published the Wilmington expedition. Yesterday 
the Baltimore American sent me word that they had informa 
tion that another expedition was fitting out. I sent them 
word that the Government would deal very summarily with 
the first party who published it. To-night Mr. Gobright, 
the agent of the Associated Press, informed me that he had 
such news from Hampton Roads, but had suppressed it. 
I am, most truly, Sir, Ymf ^^ ^^ G y 



The country will not forgive us for another failure at Wil 
mington, and I have so informed Porter. 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 46, Part 2, Page 29. 

From General Grant 

CITY POINT, VA., January bth, 1865 

Rear-Admiral D. D. PORTER, Commanding North Atlantic 

Blockading Squadron 

YOUR letter brought by the hands of Lieutenant Porter is 
received. The instructions to General Terry were given 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 467 

before its receipt, but you will see that General Terry has 
not only been instructed to consult with but to be guided by 
your counsel, as far as is consistent with his responsibilities. 
In my letter of instructions, and also in my letter to you 
written at the same time, I state that a division of troops 
numbering from 4,000 to 5,000 men will be in readiness at 
Fort Monroe to sail to you at an hour s notice. In addition 
to this, if it becomes necessary to our success, I will send all 

the men that can be used. TT c ^ T . 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 46, Part 2, Page 29. 

From General Grant 

Hdqrs. Armies of the United States, CITY POINT, VA., January 4, 1865 

SPECIAL ORDERS No. 3 

I, LIEUT. COL. C. B. COMSTOCK, aide-de-camp, will report 
to Maj. Gen. A. H. Terry, and accompany him as chief en 
gineer of the expedition under his command. . . . 

By command of Lieutenant-General Grant 

T. S. BOWERS, Assistant Adjutant-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 46, Part 2, Page 30. 

From James Parton to General Butler 

NEW YORK, 835 Broadway, Jan. 4th, 1865 

MY DEAR GENERAL: With this I send a copy of the Daily 
Telegraph of London, containing a letter from America and 
an editorial upon America, both of which have something to 
say about you. I received it from Boston, from an unknown 
hand, with the writing on it which you will see, and marked 
as you will find it. I send the wrapper, and it is possible 
you may recognize the writing. Whether the "Gen. Augustus 
Salor" at the bottom of the letter was placed there by the 
proprietor of that odious name, I have no means of knowing. 

The people of New York, my dear General, were disap 
pointed this morning in opening their Herald, Times, and 
Tribune, not to find therein your report of the Wilmington 
expedition. The reasonable part of that public seem to me 
well-disposed to believe that the withdrawal of the troops 
was necessary, but they all desire to know the facts more 
fully. The malign bluster of that incomparable ass who 
commanded the fleet has harmed no one but himself. One 
of the Harper Brothers made this remark on the day of the 
publication of his report: "To withdraw the troops without 



468 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

making an assault was a much braver action than to have 
ordered an assault." Wherefore, another person said, "Porter 
was just the man to have sacrificed a thousand men rather 
than have it said that he went away without trying." But 
of course, the heathen rage and the copperheads pretend to 
imagine a vain thing. I hope your report will not contain 
the word "Porter," nor even small beer, not any illusion to 
malt. Your silence has half quelled him already; even with 
those who consider it their mission to villify you. 

Excuse my meddling with these high matters. To come 
to safer ground, I wish you a happy and triumphant 1865. 
May you pass your next Fourth of July at Richmond, and 
your next Christmas at Lowell. 

Mrs. Parton would kill me if I omitted to say in conclusion 
that she, as well as I, wishes you and Mrs. Butler, and your 
daughter, a Very Happy New Year. She would fly to the 
mantel-piece, and taking up the long piece of iron which we 
brought from camp, cry out: "The bolt is drawn; made from 

the shaft " 

Ever yours, very truly 9 JAMES PARTON 

From General Butler 

January 7th, 1865 

MY DEAR PARTON: I send you a confidential copy of my 
report. The War Department do not allow me to publish 
it as yet. I have given Mr. G. W. Findly of the Tribune 
leave to publish it, but his information says it must not be 
published. I have done my duty. Mr. Harper is right; it 
gave me much more pain to order the retirement of the troops 
than it would to have lead the assaulting columns. 

My best love to Mrs. Parton for her continued kindness. 

Yours truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER 



From General Grant 

CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, January 4th, 1865 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

I AM constrained to request the removal of Major General 
B. F. Butler from the command of the Department of Virginia 
and North Carolina. I do this with reluctance, but the good 
of the service requires it. In my absence, General Butler 
necessarily commands, and there is a lack of confidence felt 
in his military ability, making him an unsafe commander for 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 469 

a large army. His administration of the affairs of his Depart- 
ment is also objectionable. ^ g GRANT( 



From General Butler to Colonel Townsend 

Head Qrs., Jariy. th, 1865, 8.15 P.M. 

TELEGRAM in relation to exchange correspondence received. 
It shall be forwarded as soon as copied. The recent cor 
respondence has been between Gen. Grant and Gen. Lee, and 
of this I have no copies. I do not know how far correspondence 
has been published. To what date shall I go back? 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. Comd g. 

From General Grant 

Head Quarters Armies of the United States, CITY POINT, VA., January 5th, 1865 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Comd g. Dept. Va. and N . Carolina 
GENERAL: The following communication has just been 
received by telegraph: 

WASHINGTON, 12.50 JarCy 5th, 1865 
Lt. Gen. GRANT 

THE Secretary of War desires you to forward as soon as convenient copies of cor 
respondence conducted by yourself on the subject of the following resolution of the 
House of Representatives, "Resolved that if not incompatible with the public interest, 
all communications in reference to the exchange of prisoners not heretofore published 
be communicated to this House by the Secretary of War." 

E. D. TOWNSEND, A. A. G 

You will please forward to these Headquarters, at the 
earliest possible moment, all communications between your 
self as Agent of Exchange, and Judge Ould, Agent on the 
part of the Confederacy, on the subject of exchange of prisoners, 
and especially in all matters touching the same referred to 
you from these Headquarters. 

By command of Lieut. General Grant, 

JNO. A. RAWLINS, Brig. Gen. & Chief of Staff 

From General Butler 

Office Commissioner of Exchange, Jan. 19th, 1865 [jNot in chronological order] 

Hon. Sec. of War 

IN obedience to the telegram, I have the honor to transmit 
herewith copies of all the correspondence that remains in the 
office of the Commissioner of Exchange of Prisoners relating 
to that subject. 

Action having been taken thereon by the Secretary of the 
Navy, by the Lieutenant General, by General Hitchcock, 



470 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

and by Colonel Hoffman, there is other correspondence neces 
sary to give a complete history of the matter of exchange of 
prisoners since I have had the honor to be Commissioner of 
Exchange. I have the honor to be very respectfully, 
Your obedient servant, BENJ. F. BUTLER, 

Major General and Commissioner of Exchange. 

From James W. White to General Butler 

FORT MONROE, Jan. 5th, 1865 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I send you the note to say that I 
think it quite important that your official report should be 
published as soon as possible and to urge you to obtain GEN. 
GRANT S permission to do so, with as little delay as practicable. 

I spent an hour with Gen. Grant at his Headquarters on 
my way down last afternoon; but our friend, Gen. Vogdes, 
was excited to so much loquaciousness by the sight of his old 
West Point pupil that I could not say all that I desired to 
Gen. Grant. I got in a few words, however, and could gather, 
notwithstanding the reserve imposed by circumstances, that 
the Lieutenant General acquitted you of responsibility for 
the failure at Wilmington. 

If you get authority to publish your report of the affair, I 
will, if you say so, hand the copy which you promised to send 
me to the Tribune for publication upon your telegraphing to 
me at New York, that I can do so. Until you do telegraph or 
write to me to publish it, the copy which you send me shall 
not leave my hands, nor be used in any manner that would 
be irregular or improper. 

I intended yesterday, but it escaped my memory in the 
discussion of more interesting things, to ask you about the 
case of a Doctor, or Mr. Nabig, who has been for some months 
in the military prison, here at the fort, as I understand. I 
believe him to be an unconscionable liar, and deserving of 
punishment; but his wife, who is a very worthy respectable 
young German woman, and very well thought of, I believe, 
among her people, has repeatedly solicited me in the most 
earnest manner to say a word to you for her husband. I 
know nothing of him further than I have said, except that in 
1858 and 59 I employed him to teach Frank German, and 
he was one of the best teachers I ever knew, and was employed 
to give German lessons in several of the most respectable 
families in New York; and some of the gentlemen of those 
families have also requested me (at his wife s solicitation) to 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 471 

speak to you on the subject. I must say, that, beyond his 
abilities as a teacher, my opinion of him, especially on the 
point of veracity and honesty, was not favorable; but he has 
had his first lesson, now, in the discipline of retributory justice, 
and perhaps you may think that his imprisonment may be 
brought to a close now, or soon, without injury to him or to 
the people. I only call your attention to the case, so that 
you may exercise clemency if you think that it can be properly 
exercised in his behalf; and of course it would be gratifying 
to me to be at all instrumental in leading to the proper exercise 
of that attribute of authority. 

Please to present my most kind respects to Mrs. and Miss 
Butler. I am, dear General, with much esteem, 

Very sincerely yours, JAMES W. WHITE 

From General Butler 

TELEGRAM. Head Qrs. Dept. Va. & N. C., Jan. 5th, 1865 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, WASHINGTON, D. C. 

I HAVE made my report to Lt. General Grant of the opera 
tions of the army in conjunction with the navy against Wil 
mington. General Grant thinks it should be published, and 
will forward it with that request. I respectfully request 

leave to have it published. T^ T> ir /^ ; 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen I. 

From General Grant 

TELEGRAM IN CIPHER. CITY POINT, VA., January 6, 1865 

President A. LINCOLN, WASHINGTON 

I WROTE a letter to the Secretary of War, which was mailed 
yesterday, asking to have General Butler removed from 
command. Learning that the Secretary left Washington 
yesterday, I telegraph you asking that prompt action may be 

taken in the matter. TT ^ T . 7 

U. S. GRANT, Lieut. General 

General Grant s Endorsement upon General Butler s Report 

Headquarters Armies of the United States, CITY POINT, VA., January 7th, 1865 

Respectfully forwarded 

To avoid publicity of the time of sailing and destination of 
the expedition against Fort Fisher, my orders to General 
Butler to prepare it were given verbally, and the instructions 
to the commanding officer of the expedition were made by 



472 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

him and submitted to me. I append to the report a copy of 
General Butler s instructions to General Weitzel, together 
with copies of my written despatches and instructions to 
General Butler, relating to the expedition. It will be per 
ceived that it was never contemplated that General Butler 
should accompany the expedition, but that Major Gen. G. 
Weitzel was specially named as the commander of it. My 
hopes of success rested entirely on our ability to capture Fort 
Fisher (and I had even a hope of getting Wilmington) before 
the enemy could get troops there to oppose us. I knew that 
the enemy had taken nearly the entire garrison of Wilmington 
and its dependencies to oppose Sherman. I am inclined to 
ascribe the delay, which has cost us so dearly, to an experi 
ment I refer to the explosion of gunpowder in the open air. 
My despatches to General Butler will show his report to be in 
error where he states that he returned after having effected a 
landing in obedience to my instructions. On the contrary, these 
instructions contemplated no withdrawal, or no failure after a 
landing was made. ^ ^ GRA ^ Lieutenant . Genera i 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 42, Part I, Page 970. 

From General Grant 

Headquarters Armies of the United States, CITY POINT, VA., January 7th, 1865 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: Herewith I have the honor to forward Major Gen. B. F. 
Butler s and subordinate reports of the expedition against Fort 
Fisher, N. C. As the report of Rear-Admiral D. D. Porter 
has been published in the papers, I would respectfully request 
that General Butler s report, with all the papers accompany 
ing it, be also given to the public. Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 42, Part I, Page 966. 

From General Halleck 

WASHINGTON, D. C., January 1th, 1865, 11 A.M. 

Lieutenant-General GRANT, CITY POINT 

I SEND you by telegraph General Orders, No. 1, relieving Gen 
eral Butler from his command. It will not be entered on the 
files or published here till you have delivered it to him. Please 
answer by telegraph the date that General Butler is relieved. 
H. W. HALLECK, Major-General and Chief of Staff 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 46, Part 2, Page 60. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 473 

From the Secretary of War 

War Department, Adjutant General s Office, WASHINGTON, January 7th, 1865 

GENERAL ORDER, No. 1 

I. BY direction of the President of the United States, 
Major General Benjamin F. Butler is relieved from the com 
mand of the Department of North Carolina and Virginia. 
Lieut. Gen. Grant will designate an officer to take this com 
mand temporarily. 

II. Maj. Gen. Butler on being relieved, will repair to 
Lowell, Mass., and report by letter to the Adjutant General 
of the Army. 

By order of the Secretary of War 

W. A. NICHOLS, Asst. Adjt. Gen I. 

From General Grant to General Butler 

Head Quarters Armies of the United States, CITY POINT, VA., January 7th, 1865 

SPECIAL ORDERS, Orders, No. 5 

I. IN pursuance of General Orders No. 1, War Depart 
ment, Adjutant General s Office, Washington, D. C. January 
7th 1865, Maj. Gen. E. O. C. Ord U. S. Vols., will relieve 
Maj. Gen. B. F. Butler in the command of the Department 
of Virginia and North Carolina, temporarily. 

II. Maj. Gen. B. F. Butler will turn over to Maj. Gen. 
E. O. C. Ord the records and orders of the Department, and 
all public money in his possession, or subject to his order, 
collected by virtue of rules and regulations which he may 
have established. 

III. The Department Staff w r ill report to Maj. Gen. Ord 
for duty. 

By command of Lieut. General Grant 

T. S. BOWERS, Asst. Adjt. Gen I. 

From Colonel Comstock to General Rawlins 

MOREHEAD CITY, N. C., January Sth, 1865 

DEAR RAWLINS: We arrived here this morning after a bad 
gale, which kept us knocking about off Hatteras without 
making any headway. We have just been aboard the ad 
miral s ship. He says there has not been a day fit for landing 
since the day we landed at Fort Fisher, December 25. He 
thinks a northeast gale is about to set in, and strongly urges 
that all our fleet be brought in to wait for good weather, as 



474 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

he thinks it impossible for them to stand a gale twenty-five 
miles out. General Terry will follow his ad