Milton S. Littlefield

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Milton Smith Littlefield
Born (1830-07-19)July 19, 1830
Ellisburgh, New York
Died March 7, 1899(1899-03-07) (aged 68)
New York City
Ethnicity Caucasian
Known for North Carolina Railroad Scandals, dubbed "Prince of Carpetbaggers"
Title General

General Milton Smith Littlefield (July 19, 1830 - March 7, 1899) was dubbed the "Prince of the Carpetbaggers" during the Reconstruction Era in the southern state of North Carolina. He was a Union General during the United States Civil War.[1]


He was born on July 19, 1830 in Ellisburgh, New York.The corruption scandal was brought forth after George W. Swepson and Littlefield defrauded the state by $4 million, after the North Carolina Legislature of granted $27.8 million in Railroad bonds.[2][3] Along with Swepson, Littlefield was indicted for the fraud but was never convicted.[3] He died on March 7, 1899.

Further cases[edit]

According to a court record filed on March 29, 1886, on March 18, 1872, John H. Miller sued Littlefield in Duval County, Florida over a debt of fifty thousand dollars.[4] His lust for profiteering was exhibited in his Civil War service, having charge of recruitment of black troops in the Department of the South, he sought to have freedmen pressed into service and appropriated the enlistment bounty many of these 'recruits' were due. Allegedly he used these misappropriations to fund these financial schemes.

There were also related findings with the Pensacola, Florida Railroad lines, as well as suits involving Calvin Littlefield, who filed to have the bonds given over to him.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Scoundrel or Scapegoat?". Time magazine. July 14, 1958. Retrieved 2010-12-20. "This contradictory, little-known figure of U.S. history was Union General Milton Smith Littlefield. ... The notorious Milton began his career innocuously enough. Born in upstate New York on July 19, 1830, he taught school in Michigan, later practiced law in Illinois. ... Retreating to New York City, the general bore his last years of genteel poverty lightly. Natty and erect to the day of his death in 1899, the aging Milton Littlefield invariably wore a flower in his lapel." 
  2. ^ "The Case Of Milton S. Littlefield". New York Times. July 29, 1879. Retrieved 2010-12-20. "The Governor of North Carolina in 1878 made a requisition upon Gov. Drew, of Florida, for the surrender of Milton S. Littlefield, which was complied with, and the warrant for his surrender issued." 
  3. ^ a b "George William Swepson (1819-1883)". Caswell County Historical Association. November 13, 2006. Retrieved 2010-12-20. "George W. Swepson became one of the chief Scalawags of the Reconstruction period. His machinations in railroad bonds contributed in large measure to the financial ruin of the state. He and his carpetbagger friend, Milton S. Littlefield . . . displayed open contempt for constitutional restrictions. As president of a railroad Swepson openly bought votes in elections, and he gave away railroad stock that had been secured by state bond issues. His business connections were vast and involved." 
  4. ^ Littlefield case record