|About the Book|
Benjamin Franklin Butler was a surprisingly successful lawyer, a much-maligned Civil War general and a remarkably durable politician. During his colorful and controversial years in courtrooms, on battlefields, and in political offices, he was accusedMoreBenjamin Franklin Butler was a surprisingly successful lawyer, a much-maligned Civil War general and a remarkably durable politician. During his colorful and controversial years in courtrooms, on battlefields, and in political offices, he was accused of all manner of skullduggery. Offenses alleged against Butler ranged from stealing silver spoons while occupation commander of New Orleans to accepting a bribe for running against Grover Cleveland for president of the United States.The novel takes the form of a first-person narrative by an Irish immigrant, Billy Bannigan, who works in a mill in the booming textile center of Lowell, Massachusetts, where Butler is a highly successful lawyer and state legislator. He meets Butler when he joins the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, of which Butler is commanding brigadier general. Through a friend, he becomes an aide to the general, and he remains at his side through the triumphs and tragedies of his fascinating life.Historical facts and figures have been respected in the novel. The fiction comes with Billy Bannigan, his opinions and interpretations that might be difficult to substantiate, his relationship with the Butler family, and his experiences with females. Sexual scenes are included but not prolonged. In 1899, seven years after Butlers death, Billy writes a book about his years with Butler, emphasizing the good things that he did and attempting to deflect or rationalize the allegations by his detractors. Butler was bitterly attacked as opportunistic, hypocritical, and cynical as he shifted among the political parties, but Billy believed Bens politics were where his heart was.