MAJOR GENERAL BENJAMIN F. BUTLER - MANUSCRIPT LETTER SIGNED 12/19/1863 - HFSID 46475
Sale Price $850.00
BENJAMIN F. BUTLER
Union Civil War General Benjamin F. Butler signed this war-dated letter, written on stationery from the headquarters of the 18th Army Corps in 1863, about a Confederate soldier who had made an oath of allegiance to the United States. This letter was written less than two weeks after President Abraham Lincoln's amnesty for Confederate soldiers who took this oath.
Manuscript letter signed "Benj. F. Butler" as Major General, Commanding. 2 pages, 8x10, singled-sided ruled sheets, on stationery of Head-Quarters 18th Army Corps, Department of Virginia & North Carolina at Fortress Monroe. Dec. 19, 1863. To Hon. L.H. Chandler. In full: "Sir I have received your certificate of Burroughs' having taken the oath. I presume he means to plead it as a reason why any sentence against him should not be executed. If so let him do it in the form you suggest, and at once, so I can make up the record. I can not receive it in the present informal manner. I have th honor to be Your Obedt. Servt." Eleven days earlier, on Dec. 8, 1863, at the end of his annual message to Congress, President Lincoln announced a Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction. A full pardon would be given to Confederates, with some exceptions, who took an oath of allegiance to the United States. A well-known lawyer and political leader and a Brigadier General of the Massachusetts militia, Butler (1818-1893) entered the Civil War in a dramatic way. Leading the 8th Massachusetts, he broke the blockade of Washington five days after the bombardment of Ft. Sumter. President Abraham Lincoln rewarded him with an appointment as the first volunteer Major General. Butler was appointed Military Governor of New Orleans in May of 1862, but he served only until December, earning the sobriquet "Beast Butler" from angry Southerners. He returned to combat duty with command of the Army of the James in 1863. He proved to be inept against General P.G.T. Beauregard at the Battle at Bermuda Hundred (May 16, 1864), and Grant sent him to New York. Butler resigned his commission in January of 1865. He was a member of the House of Representatives (1867-1875, 1877-1879), where he played a prominent part in the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. He changed political parties several times, and was elected Massachusetts' Democratic Governor (1882-1884). In 1884, Butler, who advocated an eight-hour workday, ran unsuccessfully for president on an anti-monopoly platform. On first page, slight separation at top right horizontal fold and clip rust mark at lower blank margin. Fine condition.
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