Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Daniel Butterfield

Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield commanded the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, V Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, during the American Civil War.

He was born on October 31, 1831, in Utica, New York, and joined the Army in Washington, DC.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor in the U.S. Volunteers on June 27, 1862. After his brigade lost more than 600 men in the Battle of Gaines Mill, Butterfield took up the colors of the 83rd Pennsylvania Volunteers. Under heavy enemy fire, he encouraged the depleted ranks to regroup and continue the battle.

Butterfield is credited with the writing of the bugle call Taps. Butterfield wrote Taps at Harrison's Landing, Virginia in July 1862 to replace the customary firing of three rifle volleys at the end of burials during battle. Taps also replaced "Tatoo," the French bugle call to signal "lights out." Butterfield's bugler, Oliver W. Norton of Chicago, Illinois, was the first to sound the new call. Within months, Taps was sounded by buglers in both Union and Confederate forces.

Butterfield died on July 17, 1901, and was buried at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Taps was sounded at his funeral.

Much of this article is taken from a public domain article by Kathryn Shenkle, a historian with Arlington National Cemetery.

See also: Taps

External links