Clarke Historical Library
Central Michigan University

Finding aid for
George Washington Butterfield Papers

Finding aid created by
Marian Matyn

Summary Information
Title: George Washington Butterfield Papers,
Creator: Butterfield, George Washington, 1843-1919.
Inclusive dates: 1836-1986, and undated
Extent: approximately 1 cubic feet (in 1 box, 1 Oversized folder)
The papers consists personal and family biographical materials, correspondence, Civil War diaries, photographs, clippings, and publications.

Call number: MSS.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
250 East Preston Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: 989-774-3352
Fax: 989-774-2160

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

No Acc#

Access Restrictions:

George Washington Butterfield Papers are open for research.


Copyright is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

George Washington Butterfield Papers Folder # , Box #, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University


Arrangement is by size, then alphabetical and chronological.



George Washington Butterfield was born on June 7, 1843 in Utica, Macomb County, Michigan, the son of Ira Howard and Rachel McNeil Butterfield. He enlisted in Michigan’s Company B, 22nd Infantry on August 7, 1862 in Utica, Michigan, and was mustered out on August 14, 1862. On October 18, 1863, Butterfield transferred to the U.S. Signal Corps.

After the Civil War, he lived in Bay City, Michigan. Butterfield married twice. His first wife was Alice Edith Banks, whom he married on March 21, 1866 in Lapeer, Michigan. With Alice he had seven children: John Arvin, Caroline “Carrie” Hannah, Margaret Alice, J. H., Kate Meritta, Ira William (1915-), and George Ernest. After Alice [died?], Butterfield married Elizabeth on September 13, 1887 in East Saginaw, Michigan. With Elizabeth he had two more children: Henry Howard and Olive Lyle.

George W. Butterfield died on October 7, 1919 in Bay City, and was buried in Elm Lawn Cemetery in Bay City, Michigan.

Captain Robert A. Butterfield, who is mentioned in the collection, was killed in a plane crash in Thailand on April 24, 1965. He was the great-grandson of George W. Butterfield. (This information is from the collection.)

Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection includes correspondence between Charles and his wife and their friends. Charles’ diary and four Civil War era letters describe the weather, military drills, skirmishes with the enemy, the failures of Gen. A. E. Burnside, heavy federal losses, many prisoners being taken, Negro troops, fighting, and marches to Bardston, Lebanon, Jamestown, and Memphis, Tennessee.

Also included is a 2003 CMU student term paper (74 pages) by Kathryn S. Anderson entitled “The 1863 Civil War Journal of Charles Horace Hodskin, 1836-1905,” which is a transcription of his diary.

Subject Terms

    • Butterfield, George Washington, 1843-1919.
    • Mosher, Olive Lyle Butterfield, 1896-1984.
    • Butterfield, Ira William, 1915-
    • Butterfield, Ira Howard, 1840-1928.
    • United States. Army. Michigan Infantry Regiment, 22nd (1862-1865)
    • United States. Army. Signal Corps.
    • Bay City (Mich.)--History.
    • Georgia--Description and travel.
    • Kentucky--Description and travel.
    • Tennessee--Description and travel.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    George Washington Butterfield Papers. [series]:
    Box   1 F   1
    Biographical Materials, 1883-1986, undated
    Box   1 F   2
    Address to the Bay City High School Class of 1900 by Butterfield, 1900
    Box   1 F   3
    Butterfield Family Chart, undated
    Box   1 F   4
    Cancelled Checks and Receipts, 1900-1931
    Box   1 F   5
    Correspondence, from Butterfield, 1862
    Box   1 F   6
    Correspondence, from Butterfield, 1863
    Box   1 F   7
    Correspondence, from Butterfield, 1864
    Box   1 F   8
    Correspondence, from Butterfield, 1865, 1898
    Box   1 F   9
    Correspondence, from Butterfield, undated
    Box   1 F   10
    Correspondence, from His Friends to Butterfield, S. Gorton, July 15, 1863-February 23, 1865
    Box   1 F   11
    Correspondence, from His Friends to Butterfield, Chester Y. Kenney,, November 3, 1865
    Box   1 F   12
    Correspondence, from His Friends to Butterfield, John J. Ladd, H. F. Ladd, E. S. (or J.) Ladd, January 11, 1863-September 3, 1864
    Box   1 F   13
    Correspondence, from His Friends to Butterfield, Samuel Ladd, Jr., August 29, 1862-February 28, 1864
    Box   1 F   14
    Correspondence, from His Friends to Butterfield, Seth J. Wells, February 25, 1863-February 28, 1864
    Box   1 F   15
    Correspondence, to Butterfield, 1877-1912
    Box   1 F   16
    Correspondence, to Howard from Hannah, 1861, 1869, undated
    Box   1 F   17
    Diary and Writing about the Civil War by Butterfield, undated
    Box   1 F   18
    Diary, Correspondence of Butterfield (Photocopies), 1862-1865
    Box   1 F   19
    Estate Papers of Butterfield and Other Family Members, 1905, 1920, 1942, undated
    Box   1 F   20
    Legal Papers, 1836-1974
    Box   1 F   21
    Miscellaneous (see also Oversized Folder), undated
    Box   1 F   22
    Newspaper Clippings, Envelope, undated
    Box   1 F   23
    Photographs (mostly Photocopies), undated
    Box   1 F   24
    Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), Merrill Post and U.S. Grant Post Booklets, undated
    Box   1 F   25
    Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), Merrill Post and U.S. Grant Post Booklets, undated
    Box   1 F   26
    22nd Michigan Volunteer Infantry, Booklet, 1886
    Box   1 F   27
    The South in War Times, a Tribute to G. W. Butterfield, by Lyman G. Wilcox, 1894
    Box   1 F   287
    War Papers, Vol. II, by M.O.L.L. U.S. with 1979 letter from Ira W. Butterfield, 1979
    F   1  
    Oversized Folder, Miscellaneous, Diplomas and Certificates, June 1907