Daniel Butterfield was George Meade's Chief-of-Staff during the Battle
of Gettysburg, and was wounded on 3 July. Butterfield was originally appointed
to the position by his friend Joseph Hooker who resigned as Commander,
Army of the Potomac on 27 June 1863. Meade intended to replace Butterfield,
but was persuaded to keep him on for continuity in the expected battle
with Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.
While in Frederick, MD, as John Reynold's I Corps and Oliver O. Howard's XI Corps were engaging Henry Heth's and Dorsey Pender's divisions of A. P. Hill's III Corps, Meade ordered Butterfield to prepare a contingency plan--the Pipe Creek Circular--for a defensive position along Pipe Creek, MD, in the event that Reynolds and Howard were driven back.
In the summer of 1864, before the Congressional Hearing on the Conduct of the War, Daniel Sickles and Butterfield, in an attempt to have Meade removed and replaced by Hooker, cited this Circular as evidence that Meade never intended to fight at Gettysburg. Meade remained in command of the Army of the Potomac until the end of the War.
Perhaps, Butterfield's most long lasting contribution to American history occurred during the Peninsula Campaign in 1862. With help from his bugler, O. W. Norton, Butterfield composed the hauntingly beautiful "Taps."
Photo from the National Archives.
From Peter Schwartz'