Butler, Benjamin Franklin
Beast.The government, severely criticized both at home and abroad for his actions, finally removed him. In May, 1864, as commander of the Army of the James, Butler was defeated by Beauregard at Drewry's Bluff and was bottled up at Bermuda Hundred until Grant crossed the James in June. After he failed to take Fort Fisher in Dec., 1864, he was removed from active command. From 1867 to 1875 Butler, by then a rabid radical Republican, was in Congress. He was one of the House managers who conducted the impeachment proceedings against President Andrew Johnson, and he ardently advocated the party's Reconstruction policy. He was said to have great influence with President Grant. Butler was (1877–79) an independent Greenbacker in Congress. After several unsuccessful attempts to secure the governorship of Massachusetts, he was elected by the Greenbackers and Democrats in 1882. In 1884 he received the nominations of the Anti-Monopoly and Greenback parties for President. Regarded by many as an unprincipled demagogue of great ability, Butler aroused intense antagonisms and was nearly always in controversy.
See his autobiography (1892); biographies by R. S. Holzman (1954), H. L. Trefousse (1957), R. S. West, Jr. (1965), and H. P. Wash, Jr. (1969).
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