Back to top

Major General Benjamin F. Butler, Proclamation to the Citizens of New Orleans, May 1, 1862

Benjamin Franklin Butler, engraving, 1861, detail
Flag-Officer David Farragut's naval forces had subdued a defiant New Orleans a few days earlier, and on May 1, 1862, five thousand Union soldiers under Major General Benjamin Franklin Butler arrived to relieve Farragut's marines and occupy the city. In this lengthy proclamation of his intent to rule the city under martial law, Butler laid out his expectations, stating that his men came to "restore order out of chaos and the rule of law in place of the passions of men." Butler's tenure as military governor of the city was a notorious one. He brooked no insult to the Union or its flag, hanged for treason one New Orleans citizen who had previously hauled down the Stars and Stripes from the U.S. Mint building, and insulted the entire female population of the city with his draconian "Order Number 28," arrested clergy for not leading prayers for President Lincoln, and clashes with several foreign consuls in the city. (By John Osborne)

Tabs

How to Cite This Page: "Major General Benjamin F. Butler, Proclamation to the Citizens of New Orleans, May 1, 1862," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/39094.