Sunday, October 14, 2012

Defiant unreconstructed Southern women...(I happen to know this spirit is still alive in some of our beloved Southern women today) THANK GOD!

One of the major problems that confronted by Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler on his occupation of New Orleans in April of 1862, was the abuse his soldiers endured from patriotic Confederate women. Bitterly resentful of the Union occupation, whenever any of Butler's men were present they would contemptuously gather in their skirts, cross streets, flee rooms, cast hateful glances, or make derisive comments. Some sang spirited renditions of "The Bonnie Blue Flag" and other Confederate songs, or spat on soldiers' uniforms, while teaching their children to do the same. One woman emptied a chamber pot on Capt. David C. Farragut from her window shortly after the mayor surrendered the city to him.

The women hoped their actions would force a retaliatory incident serious enough to incite paroled Confederates to revolt against the occupation troops. Butler dealt with the problem on May 15 by issuing General Orders No. 28, carefully worded to be self-enforcing:

"As the officers and soldiers of the United States have been subjected to repeated insults from the women (calling themselves ladies) of New Orleans, in return for the most scrupulous noninterference and courtesy on our part, it is ordered that hereafter when any female shall, by word, gesture, or movement, insult or show contempt for any officer or soldier of the United States, she shall be regarded and held liable to be treated as a woman of the town plying her avocation."

The "Woman's Order" provoked criticism throughout the Confederacy and in Europe from people who considered his proclamation an unpardonable affront to womanhood. 

Jefferson Davis on hearing of Butler’s General Order against the women of New Orleans said:

“Butler is branded a felon, an outlaw, an enemy of Mankind, and so ordered that in the event of his capture, the officer in command of the capturing force do cause him to be immediately executed by hanging.”

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