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Lacking any formal military training, Union general and Massachusetts governor Benjamin F. “Beast” Butler (1818-1893) became a controversial figure during the Civil War, disliked by many on both sides of the conflict. In 1861, Butler moved into New Orleans, where he was appointed military governor. During his time in the city, he stole from local households and instated a number of problematic laws; he was removed from the position shortly after, and resigned entirely from the military in 1865. This portrait by an unknown artist depicts the sitter in his military regalia, but like all surviving images of Butler, he is shown without a cap, revealing his balding hair and stern expression.
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