Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BUTTERFIELD, John, expressman, born in Helderberg, New York, in 1783; died in Utica, 15 November, 1869. He was self-educated, and was a stage-coach driver in early life. In 1822 he removed to Utica to assist in the management of the stage-line between Albany and Buffalo, and soon became the leading manager of that business in the state, owner of nearly all the stage-coach lines in western New York, and part-owner of a line of steamers on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence river. In 1S49 he formed the express company of Butterfield, Wesson & county On the establishment of railroads, he directed his energies to the new project, and was also the originator of the American express company, in which organization he was a directing power until his death. The corporation was formed in 1850 by the consolidation of the rival firms of Butterfield, Wesson & county, Wells & county, and Livingston & Fargo, which was accomplished at the suggestion of Mr. Butterfield. Perceiving the commercial importance of the electric telegraph, he projected and built the Morse telegraph line between New York and Buffalo. He was president of the Overland mail company, which, in 1858, contracted with the government to carry a monthly, and subsequently a daily, mail between San Francisco and the Missouri river. He also aided largely in building up the City of Utica.
--His son, Daniel Butterfield, soldier, born in Utica, New York, 31 October, 1831, was graduated at Union in 1849, and became a merchant in New York city. He was colonel of the 12th New York militia when the civil war began. Accompanying his regiment to Washington in July, 1861, he led the advance into Virginia over the Long Bridge, joined General Patterson on the upper Potomac, and commanded a brigade. On the enlargement of the regular army, he was commissioned a lieutenant colonel, and assigned to the 12th infantry, 14 May, 1861, appointed brigadier-general of volunteers, 7 September, 1861, and ordered to the corps of Fitz-John Porter, in which he made the campaign of the peninsula, taking a conspicuous part in the actions at Hanover Court-House, Mechanicsville, Gaines's Mills, where he was wounded, and in the battles fought during the retreat of McClellan's army to Harrison's Landing, where he commanded a detachment on the south side of the James River to cover the retreat.
He took part in the great battles under Pope and McClellan in August and September, 1862, and near the close of October took command of Morell's division. He became major general of volunteers on 29 November, 1862, was made colonel of the 5th infantry in the regular army on 1 July, 1863, and commanded the 5th corps at the battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, was chief of staff, Army of the Potomac, at Chancellorsville, and at Gettysburg, where he was wounded, was ordered to re-enforce Rosecrans's Army of the Cumberland, in October, 1863, acting as chief of staff to Hooker at Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge, Ringgold, and Pea Vine Creek, Georgia He commanded a division of the 20th corps at the battles of Buzzard's Roost, Resaca, Dallas, New Hope Church, Kenesaw, and Lost Mountain, Georgia, and was brevetted brigadier- and major general, United States A., for gallant and meritorious conduct. He is the author of "Camp and Outpost Duty" (New York, 1862). He served after the war as superintendent of the general recruiting service of the United States army, with headquarters in New York, and in command of forces in New York harbor from 1865 till 1869, when he resigned from the army and was appointed head of the Sub-treasury of the United States in New York. Since leaving this position he has been connected with the American express company. On 21 September, 1886, he married, in London, England, Mrs. Julia L. James, of New York City.
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