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Daniel Adams Butterfield


U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Civil War

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During the Peninsula Campaign on June 27, 1862, Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield was one of six soldiers cited for heroism in action against Confederate forces at Gaines Mill, Virginia. During the battle, at a critical moment, General Butterfield seized the colors of the 83d Pennsylvania Volunteers and gallantly encouraged the depleted ranks of his men to renewed exertion, leading them forward under a galling fire from the enemy.


During the Peninsula Campaign General Butterfield with assistance from his bugler Oliver Norton, wrote a song that became known as taps. Originally used to signal the close of day and time for the troops to put out the lights for the night, "Taps" became a soldier's salute to his fallen comrades. Today it is not only played during ceremonies to lower the flag at days end, but is used in military funerals as the final salute of the living to those who have served and passed on "into the night".

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