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Major General Benjamin F. Butler Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

MAJOR GENERAL BENJAMIN F. BUTLER
Born: November 5, 1818 in Deerfield, New Hampshire
Died: January 11, 1893 in Washington, District of Columbia
Biography | show moreshow less
 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.

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