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(CIVIL WAR.) Butler, Benjamin. Part of his speech in defense of "Butler's Folly," weeks after he was relieved of command. Autograph Manuscript, 5 x 8 inches; several corrections, folds, a few notes in later hands. [Lowell, MA, 29 January 1865]
In this speech, Butler defends his role in the first Battle of Fort Fisher, and particularly "Butler's Folly"--a boat filled with explosives which was intended to knock down the fort's walls, but only amounted to a nice light show. Butler was relieved of his command shortly afterward, and a 15 January Congressional hearing failed to restore his reputation. Butler gave this speech in Lowell, MA on 29 January 1865, just a month after the battle. It was later published as "A Speech . . . upon the Campaign before Richmond." This fragment reads in full: "Yet Porter would intimate I had too much faith in the efficacy of the powder boat, and that he had no belief in its effect. Certain it is admitted that he got his fleet so far away from the scene of the explosion that for that or some other reason he could not get back again under ten hours thereafter to fire the first shot at fort after the powder boat exploded."
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