Pass Christian, Mississippi,
February 10, 1872.
My dear General,
I have your very kind and obliging letter of the 22nd ultimo, and am reluctantly
forced to the conclusion that the swords of my lamented and gallant father are among
things that were. They were, doubtless, loaned to your father by my mother; as my father
died in 1803, and I have a distinct recollection of the swords, in my mother's possession,
after his death. I have a passion for such relics, and had pleased myself with the hope
that I should, some day, be enabled to place the sword of father with those of my brave
uncles; Genl. Richard & Col. Thomas Butler; now in my possession.
The former was the commander (after Morgan's promotion) of the famed "Rifles"
of the Revolution; was appointed to place the division standard upon the British works at
Yorktown; and was mortally wounded and massacred by the Indians at "St. Clair's
Defeat," on the Miami, Nov. 4th, 1791. My father, who had previously recovered him
from the field, left him, at his earnest request, in order to save their wounded brother,
with his drawn sword in his hand; which he soon after presented to Major Gaither, of his
command; and 60 years thereafter, a descendant of that officer, Genl. Wm. Lingan
Gaither, President of the Senate of Maryland, presented it to me saying, "it had been
handed down thru' two generations; with instructions never to wipe from its blade the
blood of Butler." The sword of Col. Thomas (father of your late friend, Genl. Robert
Butler, of Florida,) was presented to me by his eldest son, Judge Butler of Louisiana,
because my father had saved the life of its gallant owner twice badly wounded.
Judge [Charles Etienne Arthur] Gayarre, the beautiful historian of Louisiana &
Philip II, of Spain, proposes writing a sketch of "The Five Butler Brothers," of the
Revolution; toasted by Washington as "a gallant band of nations Brothers," which will,
which will probably appear in the Southern Magazine, at Baltimore.
I am sensibly impressed, my dear sir, by your most kind proffer of services, and
by your very friendly mention of my son, & pray you to present me most kindly to your
good mother, and to accept assurance of my friendly regard & best wishes.
Very truly yours,
Genl. P. Anderson
P.S. Your cousin, Miss Kate Monroe [?], is quite well; and like others of our noble
women, is struggling, gloriously, against misfortune.
I am an uncompromising Democrat, yet am willing to "fight the devil with pie,"
and to coalesce with any honest & conservative element, to drive Grant and his
remorseless, radical scoundrels from power.
Transcribed by Christopher A. Baker, University of Florida, 2008.