Meeting of January 9, 2025

Meeting of January 9, 2025, 7:15pm

James Pula on Union General Daniel Butterfield: A Civil War Biography

This book explores the complex legacy of Union General Daniel Butterfield, from his battlefield heroics and Medal of Honor to controversies and innovations that shaped the Civil War. James S. Pula unravels this enigmatic figure’s life in this meticulously researched and long-awaited biography.
Dan Butterfield played a pivotal role during the Civil War. He led troops in the field at the brigade, division, and corps level, wrote an 1862 Army field manual, was awarded a Medal of Honor, composed “Taps,” and served as the chief-of-staff for Joe Hooker in the Army of the Potomac. He introduced a custom that remains in the U.S. Army today: the use of a distinctive hat or shoulder patch to denote the soldier’s unit. Butterfield was also controversial, not well-liked by some, and tainted by politics. Award-winning author James S. Pula unspools fact from fiction to offer the first detailed and long overdue treatment of the man and the officer in Union General Daniel Butterfield: A Civil War Biography.

James S. Pula is a professor of History Emeritus at Purdue University Northwest and the former editor-in-chief of Gettysburg Magazine. Dr. Pula is the author or editor of more than two dozen books including Under the Crescent Moon with the Eleventh Corps in the Civil War (winner of the U. S. Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award); The Civil War from Its Origins to Reconstruction; The 117th New York Infantry in the Civil War: A History and Roster; For Liberty and Justice: A Biography of Brig. Gen. Włodzimierz B. Krzyżanowski; and The Sigel Regiment: A History of the 26th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, 1862-1865 (winner of the Gambrinus Prize in History from the Milwaukee County Historical Society).