b. 31/10/1831 Utica, New York. d. 17/07/1901 Cold Spring, New York.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 27/06/1862 Gaines Mill, Virginia.
Butterfield was born was born October 31, 1831 in Utica, New York. He attended Union Academy and then graduated in 1849, from Union College in Schenectady, New York, where he became a member of the Sigma Phi Society. That same year, his father, John Warren Butterfield, founded the express company of Butterfield, Wasson, and Co., which later became the American Express Company. After graduating, Daniel studied law but as he was too young to sit the New York bar exam, he toured the country instead. Upon his return to Utica, he joined the Utica Citizen’s Corps as a private. He was employed in various businesses in New York and the South, including the American Express Company, which had been co-founded by his father, an owner of the Overland Mail Company, stage-coaches, steamships and telegraph lines.
Butterfield went to New York City as superintendent of the eastern division of his father’s company. There, he joined the Seventy-First regiment of New York militia as a captain. Shortly after the fall of Fort Sumter, Butterfield joined the Clay Guards of Washington, D.C. as a first sergeant, but subsequently transferred to the Twelfth New York Militia as a colonel.
He was commissioned brigadier and major general of the Volunteers and commanded a division of the 5th Corps. He fought at the First Battle of Bull Run on 21 July 1861. He wrote the 1862 Army field manual, Camp and Outpost Duty for Infantry.
Butterfield joined Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac for the Peninsula Campaign in the V Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. Fitz John Porter. In the Seven Days Battles, at Gaines’ Mill on June 27, 1862, he was wounded but demonstrated the bravery that was eventually recognized in 1892, with the Medal of Honor.
Seized the colors of the 83d Pennsylvania Volunteers at a critical moment and, under a galling fire of the enemy, encouraged the depleted ranks to renewed exertion.
BURIAL LOCATION: US MILITARY ACADEMY POST CEMETERY, WEST POINT, NEW YORK.
SECTION XV, ROW D, GRAVE 050
LOCATION OF MEDAL:
ONEIDA COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY, UTICA, NEW YORK.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION (1896 DESIGN), WASHINGTON DC.