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Humpday History Highlight

By Wyatt Earp | December 23, 2009

I think it’s safe to say that Union General Benjamin Butler was almost as hated in New Orleans as the eeevvviiilll George W. Bush is. Lord knows that fine, upstanding citizens like Ray Nagin and Kathleen Blanco would like to see the former president hanged.

December 23, 1864 – Davis Declares Butler A Felon

Confederate President Jefferson Davis declares Union General Benjamin Butler a felon and insists that he be hanged if captured. Butler had earned few friends in New Orleans-indeed, his treatment of the city’s residents outraged most Southerners.

The Union captured New Orleans in early 1862 and Butler became the military commander of the city. His actions there soon made him the most hated Yankee in the Confederacy. Butler worked to root out all signs of the Confederacy from the city. He hanged a gambler who tore down an American flag and he ordered civil officers, attorneys, and clergy to take an oath of allegiance to the United States. Most notoriously, he offended southern women with General Order No. 28, which stated that any woman who insulted Union troops would “be treated as a woman of the town plying her avocation.” Butler confiscated the property of rebels and was accused of stealing silver spoons from the locals, earning him the nickname “Spoons.” Butler’s brother, Andrew, gained permits to trade in the area and made a fortune from the sale of contraband items. (H/

Not exactly a pillar of the community, but compared to other actions during the Civil War, Butler’s offenses are seen rather tame.

By the way, does anyone else think Butler looks exactly like Dennis Franz?

Topics: HHH | 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Humpday History Highlight”

  1. Mrs. Crankipants Says:
    December 23rd, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Yes! A cross between Dennis Franz and Droopy Dog.

  2. Wyatt Earp Says:
    December 23rd, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Mrs. Crankipants – “Hello out there in TV land.”

  3. Raptor Says:
    December 23rd, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    So that’s his name! Honest to goodness, my first thought on seeing that picture was “Hey, that guy looks exactly like the dude from NYPD Blue!”

  4. Ingineer66 Says:
    December 24th, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Sounds like not much has changed in Nola in the past 150 years. The politicians relatives get all the gravy deals.

  5. GroovyVic Says:
    December 24th, 2009 at 7:07 am

    He’s probably hated just as much as William T. Sherman is over in GA.

    BTW, Sherman hated the media. Really!

  6. Wyatt Earp Says:
    December 24th, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Raptor – Yeah, it’s pretty uncanny.

    Ingineer66 – Paging Ray Nagin!

    GroovyVic – I like him already.