Butterfield, Clark H.
Age: 21, credited to Swanton, VTVITALS
Birth: 08/11/1843, Swanton, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Riverside Cemetery, Swanton, VT
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and other veterans who may be buried there.
Veteran of Gettysburg Passes AwayClark H. Butterfield died at his home in Swanton Friday, Nov. 2, aged 74 years. He was a Civil war veteran, a member of Co. K, 13th Vermont. The funeral was from the house Monday afternoon, Rev. F. Wilson Day officiating. The bearers were A. B. Anderson, George Dunbar, John Hurlbut and Leon Gray of Seventy-Six Lodge, F. & A. M., of which Mr. Butterfield had been a member fifty years. A delegation from the Grand Army post attended. Interment was in the Riverside cemetery.
Clark H. Butterfield, Company K, 13th Vermont, Died November 2nd, After a Long Illness
Clark Butterfield was born in Swanton in 1843, son of Alonzo and Eunice Wright Butterfield. He is survived by his wife, who was Mary Cooney, and by two sons and two daughters. Walter who is with the Remington-U. M. C. works at Swanton, and Lee, who lives in Brooklyn, N. Y., being a traveling auditor for the National Baking company. Grace is the wife of Charles White of this place, and Miss Pearl Butterfield is a teacher in the graded school.
Butterfield is a name identified with Swanton history from an early date, Thomas Butterfield, a civil engineer, as agent for Col. Ira Allen built the first dam at Swanton Falls; Col. Allen at that time owning a large tract of land here. Mr. Butterfield was also the first town clerk. Clark Butterfield was a direct descendant of Thomas Butterfield.
Clark Butterfield was a wood worker by trade, which he took up on his return from the firing line of the 13th Vt. In the Civil War, and he followed the business until his health failed about two years ago. He was associated with T. B. Marvin in operating a sash and door shop in the building now owned by the Barney Marble company. At one time he was interested in the same business with W. O. Smith.
Two Army Incidents
Clark attended the Grand Army Encampment at Gettysburg four years ago and he was fond of relating two incidents of the trip, one the meeting with Bennett Young, the leader of the St. Albans raid, with whom he got acquainted after the raid at St. Johns, Qu., and the other, the renewing the acquaintance of a family that befriended him when the 13th was on the march to Gettysburg… As comrade Butterfield was wont to relate the story it was indeed interesting. Sadly in need of a pair of boots and socks as well, he went into a little shop on the outskirts of a small town near Gettysburg and asked for something to cover his feet. Clark had just completed a bargain for a pair of boots, and stood in the little shop waiting to pay for his purchase when the provost-marshal rushed in and ordered everyone out. "Take your boots and git," said the provost to Private Butterfield. So he "got" and started on the march with his comrades. He had the boots alright, but no socks to go with them, so his comfort was far from being perfect.
After tramping along some time with his bare feet in stiff, new boots, he stopped at a quiet little farmhouse, on the piazza of which he saw a woman knitting. Clark went up to the kindly lady and, after a moment's pause, asked if he might have some socks to cover his tired feet. The good lady rolled up a pair of stockings, handed them out to the grateful soldiers and, with a tearful smile, said, "Take these, my boy; it is all I have. I wish I could do more for you for my sympathies are with the North." The Northern soldier boy then went his way, on to the fight at Gettysburg.
Years afterward, at the time of the Gettysburg encampment, Clark started out to find the old farmhouse on the edge of the battlefield, if he could, wondering and wondering if anybody that lived in the old house would remember. He found the homestead much the same as it was the day he received his gift. It was with no slight thrill that he approached the lady of the house and told her why he was there. "Why, yes," said the lady, "my mother often told me before she died of the time she gave a pair of socks to her soldier lad from the North, and she used to ask and wonder what ever became of him. You reminded her so much of my poor brother, whose life was taken in that awful war, that she never, never forgot you."
His Military Record
The military record of the late Clark H. Butterfield, taken from the pages of the History of the 13th Vermont Regiment and compiled by Historian Ralph O. Sturtevant, is as follows:
CLARK H. BUTTERFIELD volunteered from Swanton, Vt., August 25th, 1862, at the age of 21. Was born in Swanton and his education was in the district schools of the town where he lived while a boy in the eastern part. He was five feet, eight inches tall, blue eyes, dark brown hair, and fair complexion. Was straight, active and well proportioned, a fine looking and appearing young man. He could boast of direct descent from Thomas Butterfield, his great grandfather, who was first town clerk of Swanton. Clark H. when first enrolled as a member of Company K, was learning the trade of carpenter and joiner, and had worked at it for a year or two and before this had worked on the farm at home. He was a first class soldier and on hand and ready always. On the March to Union Mills in the night of November 25th in the fast falling rain and deep Virginia mud, and so dark you could not see your hand before you, late in the night, Clark in attempting to jump across a ditch, fell and severely strained himself, which immediately developed Into hernia. He was after this assigned to light duty and no long marches. He remained with the company though much of the time unfit for duty, though under Surgeon Nichols' careful attention gradually improved, and well enough so he started with the regiment June 25th from Camp Occoquan on the long march to Gettysburg. Though he was told he would not be able to endure the march which would likely be hard and long, he said he was going to try it anyway; was advised to go to Alexandria to the hospital. He decided to remain with the company and go with it on the march. He stood the march all right the first day, but after that obtained permission to ride occasionally in the baggage wagon or ambulance, and so marching and riding reached Gettysburg with, his company as good as when he started, and was happy to be with the boys at what was to all appearances the end of the march, for on our arrival at Gettysburg, July 1st, 1863, the fight was on and had been raging for hours.
On the afternoon of July 3rd. General Hancock was wounded near Company K, so near many of our company saw him taken from his horse after being shot. Orderly Sergeant S. S. Morey, of Company K, who had been promoted and was then on duty as second lieutenant of Company E, was within a few feet of General Hancock when he was shot, and assisted in taking him from his horse, and as soon as it was discovered that he was bleeding, ran to Company K and called as he came, "Butterfield, give me your turniquette," knowing that Butterfield had one and returning with it on the run and it was applied, hoping to stop the flow of blood, but the wound was so near the body it was of little avail, and other means were adopted. Comrade Butterfield often relates this incident of personal experience with zest and pride, happy in the thought that the turniquette he had carried so long was finally made use of to check the flow of blood of the gunshot wound to save the life of as devoted and brave an officer as ever fought a battle. Comrade Butterfield on our return to position across the open field after General Pickett's charge was near the exploding shell that killed Corporal William Church of our Company. One hand was filled with burnt powder, and he nearly thrown to the ground by the concussion. The fraction of a second of time only prevented that shell from passing through his body, and yet he was not afraid to stay on the field though his hand was bleeding and painful.
No one ever heard Clark brag what he would do if ever in a fight, but his comrades who were with him know full well his heroic conduct in that bloody battle.
Swanton Courier, November 8, 1917
Coutesy of Tom Ledoux