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[106] directing any Confederate officer who should capture him to hang him without trial immediately; and further directing that all commissioned officers in his command be regarded as robbers and criminals, deserving death; and each of them, whenever captured, reserved for execution.1 Mr. Richard Yeadon, of Charleston, S. C., backed this proclamation by an offer2 of $10,000 reward, payable in Confederate currency, for the capture and delivery of the said Benjamin F. Butler, dead or alive, to any proper Confederate authority.

Gen. Butler had taken 13,700 soldiers from the North for the capture of New Orleans. He had received no reenforcements since; and he now turned over to his successor 17,800 drilled and disciplined men, including three regiments and two batteries of negroes. He sent home to the treasury the sum of $345,000; expended $525,000 in feeding the poor of New Orleans; and turned over about $200,000 to the Commissary and Quartermaster of his successor. He had collected, by taxation, assessments, fines, forfeitures, and confiscations, an aggregate of $1,088,000, which he had faithfully applied to the public service. He had, of course, made himself very unpopular with the wealthy Rebels, whom he had, in proportion to their several volunteer contributions of money in aid of the Rebel cause, assessed for the support of the New Orleans poor, deprived of employment by the war; and he was especially detested by that large body of influential foreigners who, having freely devoted their efforts and their means to the support of the Rebellion, were neither regarded nor treated by him as though they had been honestly neutral in the contest. In his farewell address to the people of New Orleans, he forcibly says:

I saw that this Rebellion was a war of the aristocrats against the middling men — of the rich against the poor; a war of the land-owner against the laborer; that it was a struggle for the retention of power in the hands of the few against the many; and I found no conclusion to it, save in the subjugation of the few and the disenthrallment of the many. I, therefore, felt no hesitation in taking the substance of the wealthy, who had caused the war, to feed the innocent poor, who had suffered by the war. And I shall now leave you with the proud consciousness that I carry with me the blessings of the humble and loyal, under the roof of the cottage and in the cabin of the slave; and so am quite content to incur the sneers of the salon or the curses of the rich.

1 Mr. Davis's proclamation recites the hanging of Mumford; the neglect of our Government to explain or disavow that act; the imprisonment of non-combatants; Butler's woman order aforesaid; his sequestration of estates in western Louisiana; and the inciting to insurrection and arming of slaves on our side, as his justifications for proclaiming--

First. That all commissioned officers in the command of said Benjamin F. Butler be declared not entitled to be considered as soldiers engaged in honorable warfare, but as robbers and criminals, deserving death; and that they and each of them be, whenever captured, reserved for execution.

Second. That the private soldiers and non-commissioned officers in the army of said Butler be considered as only the instruments used for the commission of crimes perpetrated by his orders, and not as free agents; that they, therefore, be treated, when captured as prisoners of war, with kindness and humanity, and be sent home on the usual parole that they will in no manner aid or serve the United States in any capacity during the continuance of this war, unless duly exchanged.

Third. That all negro slaves captured in arms be at once delivered over to the executive authorities of the respective States to which they belong, to be dealt with according to the laws of said States.

Fourth. That the like orders be executed in all cases with respect to all commissioned officers of the United States, when found serving in company with said slaves in insurrection against the authorities of the different States of this Confederacy.

[Signed and sealed at Richmond, Dec. 23, 1862.]


2 41 Jan. 1, 1863.

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