James W. Butler, son of James and Annie Butler, was born on 1 April 1844, most likely in Riverton, New Jersey, although his death certificate and pension records state Ireland as his birthplace. He served in Battalions C and D, 1st Pennsylvania Reserves, during the Civil War, and in Company B, 5th Infantry; Company E, 12th Infantry; Company K, 19th Infantry; Company F, 20th Infantry; Company K 37th Infantry; Company C, 2nd Cavalry; and Companies E and F, 7th Cavalry, throughout the rest of his career. In November 1870, he was sentenced to confinement at hard labor and loss of $12 a month in wages for six months for being drunk on duty and quitting his post when on mounted guard. He enlisted in the 7th Cavalry for the second time at Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory, on 18 September 1874, giving his age as 33. He was 5'6" tall with blue eyes, auburn hair, and a ruddy complexion. He was on detached service with General Terry's column during the Battle of the Little Bighorn, 25-26 June 1876. He was discharged on 19 September 1879, at Fort Totten, Dakota Territory, as a private of good character. He never married. In 1909, he resided at the National Military Home in Mountain Home, Tennessee, and later lived at 1032 Springfield Garden Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Butler died in Philadelphia at 9:00 a.m. on 8 June 1924 at the age of 80, of acute congestion of the lungs and arteriosclerosis. He is buried in Philadelphia National Cemetery.
Source: Ronald H. Nichols, ed., Men with Custer: Biographies of the 7th Cavalry (Hardin, MT: Custer Battlefield Historical & Museum Association, 2000)
JAS. W. BUTLER
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