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[56] could not fail to see it, nor could they once forget it. It made itself as evident as a file of soldiers commanded by a corporal With these, the general made arrests the comedy of his local administration. Figaro's mouth and Pasquin's pillar were never far away from the office of the major-general.

General Butler, in the administration of the city, busied himself in writing military orders, ‘general’ and ‘special.’ He began by issuing a detailed proclamation, covering a variety of threatening orders to the city and its people. This was speedily followed by General Orders No. 19, 21, 22, and 23, each treating of interests as varied as the needs of a large city. General Order No. 25 was a trifle more carefully prepared. In the name of sympathy with the mechanics and working classes of the city ‘in their deplorable state of destitution and hunger,’ Order No. 25 was a specious appeal to them to cease to be the serfs of the wealthy classes, whom he styled the ‘leaders of the rebellion.’ A strong bid to attract the needy was a quantity of beef and sugar, captured from the Confederates and now ready for distribution among the ‘deserving poor of the city.’ In these papers, the hand of the politician was far more manifest than that which held the sword.

These orders were, indeed, the special medium through which General Butler strove insiduously to array class against class. They were fairly in the line of duty of a general commanding a surrendered city. Most of them represented such care of its interests as might lawfully spring from an honest desire to fulfill the obligations of his position. In none of them, except in General Order No. 25, concerning certain manifest needs of a section of the population, did he seem to understand the temper of the people. He was wholly blind to it when he signed Special Order No. 70, in the case of Wm. B. Mumford. The military commission in finding verdict took no account of the excited state of public opinion existing on April 27th.

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Benjamin F. Butler (2)
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