Matthew Calbraith Butler

Headstones: FInd-a-Grave

Matthew Calbraith Butler was born on March 8, 1836, in Greenville, South Carolina, and was educated at South Carolina College. The secession of his state found him a lawyer, son-in-law of Governor Pickens, and member of the legislature, from which he promptly resigned to accept a captain's commission in the Hampton Legion. Immediately after First Manassas, in which the Legion participated, he was made major, and in August 1862, colonel of the 2nd South Carolina Cavalry. He lost his right foot at the battle of Brandy Station in June 1863; and was commissioned brigadier general to rank from September 1, 1863, and major general from September 19, 1864. Meantime he had largely distinguished himself as a brigade and division commander under Generals Stuart and Wade Hampton. Financially ruined by the war, Butler became the leading exponent of the "straight-out" Democratic movement in his state, and was elected to the United States Senate in 1876 at the same time Hampton assumed the governor's office where he served continuously until his defeat by Benjamin F. Tillman in 1894. He donned a blue uniform in 1898 to accept a commission as major general of United States volunteers in the war with Spain. He was honorably discharged on April 15, 1899, after serving as a member of the commission for the Spanish evacuation of Cuba. Later president of a mining company in Mexico, and vice president of the Southern Historical Association, General Butler died in Washington on April 14, 1909, and is buried in Edgefield, South Carolina.

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Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.