He took part in the siege of Yorktown, the battle of Fair Oaks, the seven days' battle before Richmond, and the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, where he was wounded, and Chancellorsville, where his brigade was reduced in numbers to less than a regiment, and General Meagher resigned his commission.
At Chancellorsville he displayed great intrepidity and energy, and on the eve of the battle of Gettysburg was appointed to succeed Hooker.
He took part in the battle of Chancellorsville, and at Gettysburg commanded a division of the III.
After General Hooker succeeded Burnside, Butterfield was appointed chief of staff, Army of the Potomac, and in this capacity he served in the Chancellorsville and Gettysburg campaigns.
At Chancellorsville his division received both on the 2nd and the 3rd of May the brunt of the attack of Lee's main army.
At the Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, he rendered further good service, and at Gettysburg his handling of the artillery was conspicuous in the repulse of Pickett's charge, and he was rewarded with the brevet of colonel.
This year saw the greatest successes and the heaviest reverses of the Union army, Gettysburg and Vicksburg and Chattanooga against Chancellorsville and Chickamauga.
Hooker's operations began well, Lee was outmanoeuvred and threatened in flank and rear, but the Federals were in the end involved in the confused and disastrous battle of Chancellorsville (q.v.).
But Hooker could at least make himself obeyed, and when Lee initiated his second invasion of the North a month after the battle of Chancellorsville, the Army of the Potomac was as resolute as ever.
The ruthless determination of the superior leaders had been answered splendidly by the devotion of the troops, but the men of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg were mostly dead or wounded, and the recruits attracted by bounties or compelled by the "draft," which had at last been enforced in the North, proved far inferior soldiers to the gallant veterans whom they replaced.
In a battle such as Chancellorsville or the Wilderness guns were almost valueless, since there was little open space in which they might be used.
At Fredericksburg his wing of Lee's line of battle was heavily engaged, and his last battle, before Chancellorsville, in the thickets of the Wilderness, was his greatest triumph.
CHANCELLORSVILLE, a village of Spottsylvania county, Virginia, U.S.A., situated almost midway between Washington and Richmond.
During the Chancellorsville campaign he made an unsuccessful cavalry raid toward Richmond.
His works include The Campaign of Chancellorsville (1881), A Bird's Eye View of our Civil War (1882, later edition 1897), a complete, accurate and remarkably concise account of the whole war, Patroclus and Penelope, a Chat in the Saddle (1883), Great Captains (1886), a series of lectures, Riders of Many Lands (1893), and a series of large illustrated volumes entitled A History of the Art of War, being lives of "Great Captains," including Alexander (2(2 vols., 1888), Hannibal (2(2 vols., 1889), Caesar (2 vols., 1892), Gustavus Adolphus (2 vols., 1896) and Napoleon (4(4 vols., 1904-1907).
He was promoted major-general of volunteers on the 14th of March and was a division commander at Chancellorsville of the Eleventh Corps, under General O.
He served with distinction in the Peninsular campaign, and at Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, where he received a wound which incapacitated him up to the opening of Grant's Virginia campaign of 1864.
In July 1866 he was made colonel of a regular infantry regiment, and in 1867 he was brevetted brigadiergeneral in the regular army for his services at Chancellorsville and major-general for his services at Spottsylvania.
Of the six great impacts made upon the Confederacy, four were upon Virginian soil: the first Manassas campaign (1861), the Peninsular battles (1862), second Manassas (1862), Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville (1862-63) and the great Wilderness-Petersburg series of attacks (1864-65).
At the battle of Ball's Bluff (1861) he was severely wounded; he was again wounded at Fair Oaks (1862) and at Chancellorsville (1863), where he commanded a division.