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Old Ben Butler…. he is a hoot.
Both Bogdan Yelcovich and Jim McFee have heard of him.
We were talking about Butler one day and sure enough Bogdan brought in some literature about him.
Bogdan must have a house full of recent periodicals. Maybe that is where he learns about all this trivia.
Anyway we should start with the basics.
Ben Butler is big in politics but not so big in wartime.
Everyone seems to either hate him or love him. He has strong opinions on everything and does not have the patience to beat around the bush looking for snakes.

If he thinks there is a snake in the bush he reaches in, grabs it by the tail, and yanks it out.
Ben’s problem is that once he gets hold of the snake he doesn’t always seem to know what to do with it.
There is a story around about his school days. He decided that he needed to speak out about the Christian ways of the school he was attending. That got him close to expelled.

Butler Maine Print

Bogdan had a periodical that I had never seen before. It was rather humerous and poked jokes at everbody from Commodore Vanderbilt to Old Ben Butler.

Butler Punchinello

Of course they had to ask a snide question with two meanings.

Butler Silver Spoon

Other periodicals joined in on the fun.

Butler Old Guard

But “The Old Guard” got pretty nasty about Ben after the civil war.

Butler The Tribune

Butler Epigram

And then there is the “New Orleans” story:

Butler New Orleans



It seems as though the ladies of New Orleans were harassing his troops and being generally mean to them. Butler, once again, grabbed the snake by the tail and yanked it out of the bushes.

Butler New Orleans orders

Of course this was an insult, not only to the ladies but also to the southern gentlemen. An uproar ensued in periodicals all over the country.

This would be a good place to show the good General’s photograph for comparison.
Butler His picture


The comparison will be the picture of General Benjamin Butler that started showing up in the bottom of all the “thunder mugs” being sold for the boudoirs of New Orleans.

Butler Thunder Pot

Even the consumptive patients in Saranac, New York had something to say about Ben Butler and his political cronies.

Butler Saranac Exiles

Butler Saranac prose


And the following is an example of how Old Ben Butler ignored orders and pulled a rabbit out of the hat.


Even the Susquehanna River played a part in that story; how about that!

Someone, a hundred years into the future, may refer to Ben Butler as “a reckless, impetuous, headstrong, boy who regularly got into fights and never seemed to grow out of it.”







As I Wander Introduction 2

©W. Tomosky