Phillips began his assignment at the Lincoln Home and National Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois on July 18, 2010.
“My area of interest is the
American Civil War. It’s a period of history that has always interested me.” Phillips said.
career with the park service has included assignments at the Gettysburg, Fort
Sumter and Chickamauga national parks and battlefields.
Butler was a controversial, self-aggrandizing, and colorful politician who
served as a Union general during the Civil War. A state senator in
Massachusetts. Butler was a delegate to the 1860 Democratic National
Convention, where he supported Jefferson Davis. Always popular, he was
nevertheless dogged by charges of corruption, abuse of power, and, when he
accepted a general officer's commission from Abraham
Lincoln in 1861, incompetence. Even his appearance inspired commentary. A
Union staff officer penned in his diary how Butler cut "an astounding
figure on a horse! Short, fat, shapeless; no neck, squinting, and very bald
headed, and, above all, that singular, half defiant look." During the
Civil War, Butler made substantial contributions to the Union war effort,
including a policy that allowed the United States government to skirt the
provisions of the Fugitive Slave Law by claiming that escaped slaves were
"contraband of war." In this way, he was able to put African American
to work on fortifications and helped to pave the way for emancipation. He also
served as military administrator for occupied Louisiana—where he was particularly hated.
It was a Friendly & Fun Evening of Civil War History!
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