Butterfield, Franklin George
Age: 20, credited to Rockingham, VT
Unit(s): 6th VT INF
Service: com, 2LT, Co. A, 6th VT INF, 10/4/61 (10/15/61), pr 1LT, Co. C, 8/21/62 (9/15/62), pr CPT, Co. I, 4/21/64 (5/5/64), pr LTC, 10/21/64, wdd, Charles Town, 8/21/64, resgd on account of wds, 10/28/64 as CPT, Co I. (Medal of Honor) [College: MC 63]
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: 03/11/1842, Rockingham, VT
Burial: Saxtons River Cemetery, Saxtons River, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Tom Ledoux
Findagrave Memorial #: 22673
Alias?: None noted
Portrait?: VHS off-site, MHI off-site
College?: MC 63
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)
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Saxtons River Cemetery, Saxtons River, VT
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This soldier was awarded the Medal of Honor
Franklin George Butterfield
Rank and Organization: 1st Lieut., Co. C, 6th Vermont Infantry.
Place and date: Salem Heights, VA, 4 May 1863.
Entered service at: Rockingham.
Born: 11 Mar 1842, Rockingham.
Died: 6 Jan 1916.
Buried: Saxtons River Cemetery, Saxtons River, VT
Date of Issue: 4 May 1891.
Citation: Took command of the skirmish line and covered the movement of his regiment out of a precarious position.
Source: Rutland Daily Herald, Jan. 8, 1916:
Derby Line, Jan. 7. - Gen. Franklin George Butterfield, one of Vermont's most distinguished men in service during the Civil war and for many years after prominent in connection with the federal government, who for many years has been engaged in business here with his brother, Col. F.D. Butterfield, in the manufacture of taps and dies, died of pneumonia at his home yesterday. Funeral services will be held here tomorrow at 4 o'clock and the burial will be in Saxtons River. He was the fourth member of the Vermont Senate of 1910 to die since that session of the General Assembly.
Franklin George Butterfield, son of David and Elmira Ward (Randall) Butterfield, was born in Rockingham May 11, 1842. He attended the common schools and Saxtons River academy and entered Middlebury college in 1859. Entering the army in the fall of his junior year he did not graduate with his class. After the war, however, Middlebury college conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts.
On October 4, 1861, he entered at Middlebury as a private in company A, 6th Vermont volunteers. He was promoted through the various grades and on October 21, 1864 was made lieutenant colonel, commanding the regiment at the age of 22 years. He was seriously wounded and obliged to relinquish his command. His regiment was part of the "old Vermont brigade" and Gen. Butterfield participated in all of its battles up to 1865. His command was first in the battle of Lee's Mills, April 16, 1862, where he distinguished himself by carrying off the field Capt. E.F. Reynolds of Rutland who had been mortally wounded.
In the Peninsular campaign he was mentioned in general orders for conspicuous gallantry at the Battle of Golding's Farm and two days later at White Oak Swamp. During 1863 he was aid on the staff of Maj. Gen. Lewis A. Grant. In the Battle of the Wilderness his command was literally cut to pieces, but he brought his surviving troops off the field in good order. Congress awarded him a medal for "gallantry at Salem Heights."
After the close of the war the Vermont legislature in joint assembly elected him judge advocate general with the rank of brigadier general.
From 1865 to 1877 he was engaged in mercantile pursuits at Saxtons River, in the latter year he returned to his original intention, broken up by army service, the study of law. In 1880 he was appointed supervisor of the census for Vermont and upon the completion of the work was selected by President Hayes, the secretary of the Interior and the superintendent of the census bureau to take charge of the investigation of the alleged census frauds in South Carolina. Upon the completion of the investigation he was assigned to the census bureau.
In 1882 he was transferred to the bureau of pensions, served through the various grades and was made principal examiner in 1884. In 1890 he was made chief of the special examination division. It was in this capacity that he reduced the expenditures of the division in the sum of $426, 000.
In 1888 he returned to Vermont to engage in business in this town. In 1898 he was elected a member of the General Assembly from Derby and in 1910 represented Orleans county in the Senate. He had held many town offices.
Gen. Butterfield was a member of the various branches in the Masonic fraternity, of the Legion of Honor and many other organizations. On June 1, 1866 he married Maria Smith Frost, who survives him. Two children also survive, Benjamin Frost Butterfield and Esther.
Contributed by Jennifer Snoots.
BUTTERFIELD, Franklin George, of Derby Line, son of David and Elmira Ward (Randall) Butterfield, was born in Rockingham, May 11, 1842.
He attended the common schools and Saxtons River Academy, and entered Middlebury College in 1859. Entering the army in the fall of his junior year he did not graduate with his class. After the war of the rebellion, however, Middlebury College conferred on him the degree of Master of Arts. October 4, 1861, he enlisted at Middlebury as a private in Co. A, 6th Vt. Vols. He was promoted successively to 2d lieutenant, 1st lieutenant, captain, and, on October 21, 1864, to lieutenant-colonel, commanding the regiment, at the age of twenty-two years. Having been seriously wounded, he was obliged to relinquish his command and tendered his resignation. He served with his regiment, which was a part of the "Old Vermont Brigade, " in the 6th Army Corps through its campaigns in Virginia with the army of the Potomac, participating in all its battles up to 1865. He was first in battle at Lees Mills, April 16, 1862, where he distinguished himself by carrying off the field Capt. E. F. Reynolds of Rutland, who had been mortally wounded. Later in the Peninsular campaign, he was mentioned in general orders for conspicuous gallantry at the battle of Golding's Farm and also two days later at White Oak Swamp, both engagements being a part of the seven days' fight. During the year 1863, including the Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Mine Run campaigns, he served as an aid-de-camp on the staff of Maj.-Gen. Lewis A. Grant, commanding the Vermont Brigade. In May of that year at Banks Ford he again attracted notice by his bearing under fire. The following year, at the battle of the Wilderness, though his command was literally cut to pieces, he brought off his surviving troops in good order, and was promptly engaged with the enemy in the advance at daylight in the following morning. Throughout his service his conduct was such as to win the commendation of his superiors, and he was awarded a medal of honor from Congress "for gallantry at Salem Heights." The general commanding the army, in making the recommendation, said: "The record of Lieutenant-Colonel Butterfield is an exceedingly brilliant one, his conduct on several separate occasions well merited a medal of honor, but the affair of May 4, 1863, is probably the one most worthy of such special recognition, since Colonel Butterfield not only displayed there his accustomed bravery, but also soldierly qualities of a high order."
After the close of the war, the Legislature of Vermont in joint assembly unanimously elected him judge advocate general of the state, with the rank of brigadier-general, as a recognition of his faithful service with his command and his gallant conduct in the field.
From 1865 to 1877 he was engaged in mercantile pursuits at Saxtons River. In August, 1877, he commanded a brigade of veterans at the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the battle of Bennington. In that year he returned to his original intention, broken up by his army service, the study of law. In 1880 he was appointed by President Hayes supervisor of census, and had charge of the state of Vermont in the taking of the tenth census. On completion of this work he was selected by the President, the Secretary of the Interior, and Gen. Francis A. Walker, superintendent of the tenth census, to take charge of the investigation of the alleged census frauds in the state of South Carolina. Leaving Vermont early in November he remained in South Carolina till Feb. 1, 1881, when he returned to Washington and made his report. A previous investigation had been made which had proved unsatisfactory. General Butterfield's report settled this vexed question to the entire satisfaction of all parties. He was urged by General Walker to remain in Washington to assist in completing the work of the tenth census, and consented. In 1882 he was transferred to the Bureau of Pensions, where he served through all the various grades and became a principal examiner in July, 1884. In 1890 he was made chief of the special examination division and during that year had three hundred and fifty special agents in the field and an office force of upwards of one hundred. Finding the work much in arrears, he brought it up to date and in a period of three years had reduced the expenditure of that division in the handsome sum of $426, 000. In 1888 he formed business connections in Vermont and in July, 1892, after great reluctance on the part of the Secretary of the Interior and Commissioner of Pensions, his resignation was accepted, and he returned to Vermont to devote his entire time to private business. He is associated with his brother, Col. F. D. Butterfield, under the firm name of Butterfield & Co., in the manufacture of taps and dies and other thread cutting tools at Derby Line.
General Butterfield is a charter member of Lodge of Temple, No. 94, F. & A.M., of Bellows Falls; a charter member of Abenaqui R. A. Chapter No. 19 of same place, of which he has been High Priest; member of Hugh de Payn's Commandery Knights Templar of Keene, N. H.; member of E. H. Stoughton Post GAR of Bellows Falls; has been a member of the Department and National staff; is a charter member of the Vermont Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, having previously been one of the officers of the District of Columbia Commandery of Washington, D. C.; member of the District of Columbia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, having served as vice-president of the same, and for several years one of the board of managers and was a member of the National Congress of the order; was vice-president of the Society of the Army of the Potomac in 1893, and is also connected with various other social and military societies.
On June 1, 1866, he married Maria Smith Frost, only daughter of Benjamin and Phebe Ann (Smith) Frost. They have two children: Benjamin Frost (U. S. Consular Agent at Stanstead, P. Q., born April 25, 1867), and Esther Elmira (born August 4, 1871).
Source: Jacob G. Ullery, compiler, Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vermont, (Transcript Publishing Company, Brattleboro, VT, 1894), Part II, pp. 55.
See also findagrave.com
See also: Beyer and Keydel, 171.
NARA File Number: B-1861-VS-1862.
The Story of American Heroism