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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesSouth Carolina

Matthew Calbraith BUTLER

Senate Years of Service:

BUTLER, Matthew Calbraith, (grandson of William Butler [1759-1821], son of William Butler [1790-1850], and nephew of Andrew Pickens Butler), a Senator from South Carolina; born near Greenville, Greenville County, S.C., March 8, 1836; attended the local academy in Edgefield, S.C., and South Carolina College at Columbia; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1857 and commenced practice in Edgefield; elected to the State house of representatives in 1860; entered the Confederate Army as captain in June 1861 and served throughout the Civil War, attaining the rank of major general; again elected to the State house of representatives in 1866; unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor of South Carolina in 1870; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1876; reelected in 1882 and again in 1888 and served from March 4, 1877, until March 3, 1895; unsuccessful candidate for reelection; chairman, Committee on Civil Service and Retrenchment (Forty-sixth Congress), Committee on Interstate Commerce (Fifty-third Congress); resumed the practice of law in Washington, D.C.; appointed major general of United States Volunteers during the Spanish-American War, and was one of the commissioners appointed to supervise the evacuation of Cuba by the Spanish forces in 1898; returned to Edgefield, S.C., and resumed the practice of law; died in Columbia, S.C., April 14, 1909; interment in Willow Brook Cemetery, Edgefield, S.C.


American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Brooks, Ulysses R.Butler and His Cavalry in the War of Secession, 1861-1864. Columbia: State Co., 1909.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present