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[249] Men who think must have seen that there was something not reported; that a man like General Butler had too much at stake to become the champion of two hot-headed boys If the report of Stover and Chamberlain is true, Butler should have counselled them to go home and learn to behave themselves. It is the natural and necessary award of good conduct that when a good man is charged with folly and wickedness, people should call for proof before yielding belief to the charges. But in the temper with which the North regarded the South, the ordinary principles of judgment and of action were laid aside, and it seemed quite natural that the heroic Butler should act the part of a mad boy.

Let us now endeavor to arrive at the truth, and find a cause for the demand for redress which brought on the catastrophe. Our statement is taken from General Butler's letters, and from the testimony elicited on a proceeding on habeas corpus. This testimony was given by gentlemen of high character in that locality.

Since the war the town of Hamburg, once a wealthy part of the State, had sunk both in wealth and population, and was a mere colony of negroes. They enjoyed the corporate rights which had been granted to the town, and their council frequently acted both arbitrarily and eccentrically, to the great annoyance of those neighbors who had occasion to visit or pass through the town. Of late a military body had been revived on the basis of one of Scott's companies. This company was in the habit of acting as most of these companies do when not under the moral restraint of the whites, and had at several times been troublesome. It seemed to them right and proper that when their Captain was arrested, whether on civil or military process, to surround him and resist the arrest, and this they did both on the 6th and on the 8th July. Gatsten and young Butler were coming out of Augusta in a buggy on the 4th. Doc. Adams's company was on parade in the street. When they saw the buggy coming they stretched themselves intentionally across the only available space. The street is generally one hundred feet wide, but just here it was so narrow and blocked up by the troops, that there was no course for the buggy to pass. On one side was a ditch, on the other a fence, and in their rear a wall. The insult was open, designed, obstinate and aggressive. The young men were obliged to stop, and whilst they stood still the negroes cursed and villified them in the grossest manner, and beat their drums about the horse's head. If they attempted to pass through any space that seemed open the gap was filled up by the negroes with their bayonets. After this obstruction

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