"From personal acquaintance with Genl Butler and though now evidently Union -- as a man, I place little confidence in him, wherever he is and whatever he does-- An eye upon his actions will not be left [ illegible] on your part. I fear only three or four men in the whole state of Mass. Butler is one." Oliver Ellsworth to Lincoln, April 18, 1861. But HE was the one to lead the first troops from Massachusetts into Maryland on April 20, 1861.
How does a Northern Democrat who leads the secession movement in South Carolina become a rabid abolitionist and republican overnight and win favor with Abe Lincoln? Butler was a lawyer in Mass. and I've found the Butler name associated with Lincoln and New York attorney family of Butler in Albany, New York during this period. One of Lincoln's closest friends and associate was a William Butler of Illinois. Remember the cornerstone of the abolitionist movement was the strong belief in disunion. Was Butler a mole sent in to cause the breakup of the Democratic party and promote secession of the slave states?