An officer on General Butler's staff, residing constantly, while in New Orleans, under his roof, having had direct personal observation of him during the entire progress of the "Ship-Island Expedition," may perhaps be pardoned for putting on record in this magazine some characteristic traits of the man whom this war has brought so prominently, not only before our own people, but also the people of Europe.
In the execution of this task I shall confine myself to the mention of incidents of his administration at New Orleans, and the relation of the inside history (the history of motive and cause) of many of his public acts which elicited from the European press and the enemies of the Union in our own land the bitterest abuse,--believing that in so doing I offer stronger proof of the injustice of their attacks than I could possibly furnish by any attempt to argue them down. And that the patience of my readers may not be unnecessarily taxed, I shall proceed without further introduction to the consideration of OUR GENERAL in New Orleans.
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One of the first difficulties which General Butler found in the way of the restoration of the national authority in that city was the attitude of the foreign consuls. Under the leadership of Mr. George Coppell, who was acting for the British Government in the absence of the consul, Mr. Muir, they tacitly declared an offensive and defensive war of the guerrilla stamp against every step or order for the promotion of loyal sentiment or the inculcation of a belief in the strength of our Government. Nothing excited greater hostility abroad than the General's treatment of these gentlemen, and in nothing has he been more admired by his loyal countrymen than in his complete discomfiture of them.