Elizabeth D. Leonard is the John J. and Cornelia V. Gibson Professor of History, Emerita, at Colby College and the author of Yankee Women: Gender Battles in the Civil War (1994), All the Daring of the Soldier: Women of the Civil War Armies (1999), Lincoln's Avengers: Justice, Revenge, and Reunion after the Civil War (2004), Men of Color to Arms! Black Soldiers, Indian Wars, and the Quest for Equality (2010),Lincoln's Forgotten Ally: Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt of Kentucky (2011), cowinner of the Lincoln Prize, and Slaves, Slaveholders, and a Kentucky Community's Struggle Toward Freedom (2019). She is currently completing a biography of General Benjamin F. Butler.
A controversial figure in his lifetime, Butler has been treated harshly by history and historians. This lecture discusses the many reasons why Butler's life and memory merit a reassessment.