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.
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.
Of course they had to ask a snide question with two meanings.
Other periodicals joined in on the fun.
But “The Old Guard” got pretty nasty about Ben after the civil war.
And then there is the “New Orleans” story:
OLD NEW ORLEANS
OCCUPIED BY THE TROOPS OF GENERAL BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BUTLER
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.
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.
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.
Even the consumptive patients in Saranac, New York had something to say about Ben Butler and his political cronies.
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.”