Charles B. Butterfield


Charles Butterfield volunteered for the 39th Regiment army for 3 years at age 18 along with his father John in August 1862. His older brother William had already joined and was serving in the 13th Regt. (There were 9 younger children in the family.) He recounted service under generals Meade and Grant. Among the 23 battles he took part in are Mine Run, Spottsylvania, Bethesda Church, Petersburg, Marshall House and Weldon Station, VA. Captured by the Rebels in Weldon Station, he was imprisoned in Libby, Belle Isle, and Salisbury Prisons where he witnessed terrible conditions and many deaths.  He was resourceful and lively and survived the long ordeal. (See Butterworth Prison Pen description under readings.)


However, when home on a 30-day leave, he became deathly ill with fever and his furlough was extended. After a three-month stay at a Worcester hospital, he received an honorable discharge from service. He returned to Wayland and became a shoemaker.


While at Salisbury prison he carved a cane.  When he returned to Wayland, he had a brass top made for it in Boston.  It is now part of the Wayland Historical Society collection.


The Butterfield family home still stands at #14 Pemberton Rd. above the entrance to Lakeview Cemetery.  It was built by his father, John C. Butterfield in 1850. His father, John, sold some of his land to the town to be used as a cemetery (Lakeview) and from 1872-1880 served Cochituate as undertaker.  The property has been connected with the undertaker business since then. Because several Butterfield houses were in the area, in 1885 this area was called Butterfield Hill.


Charles Butterworth attended Civil War reunions faithfully and the photo of him in Grand Army of the Republic uniform was taken on one of these occasions. He remained an enthusiastic patriot the rest of his life.