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Butler Brothers of Pennsylvania

Butler Brothers of Pennsylvania

BUTLER BROTHERS OF PENNSYLVANIA. The four eldest of the five sons of Thomas Butler served together as Continental officers in the Revolution, and three of the surviving four were together under General Arthur St. Clair in the Indian expedition of 1791. The two elder Butler brothers, William and Richard, were born in Dublin. In 1748 the family immigrated to America, settling in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Here, Thomas Jr. was born in 1754, Percival in 1760, and then Edward. All but the latter, who presumably was too young, became officers in the Continental Army, and much of the time they served in the same unit or adjacent ones. At Monmouth, Thomas commanded a company whose rearguard action saved the regiment commanded by his brother, Richard. William Butler died in 1789, but three of the four remaining brothers served together in the disastrous operations led by General St. Clair that ended in defeat on 4 November 1791. Richard, who commanded a wing of the army in which Thomas served as a major and Edward as a captain, was mortally wounded and evacuated to the center of St. Clair's camp, where he was soon joined by the seriously wounded Thomas. Before the retreat started, Edward arrived to remove his brothers, but could take only one. Richard insisted that the other brother be saved, and Edward succeeded in carrying Thomas to safety.

SEE ALSO Butler, Edward; Butler, Percival; Butler, Richard; Butler, Thomas; Monmouth, New Jersey; St. Clair, Arthur.

                              revised by Michael Bellesiles

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