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Inter-State Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois, 1881

Page 1062

COLONEL SPEED BUTLER is the second child and eldest son of Hon. William Butler; was born in Springfield, Illinois, August 7, 1837. He graduated from the Lutheran University, at Springfield in 1854, studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1860. Upon the inauguration of the late civil war in 1861, he was selected by Governor Yates to carry a dispatch to Washington City asking for an order to remove the United States arms from the arsenal at St. Louis to Alton, Illinois. Railroad and telegraph communication to the capital had been cut off, but he made his way successfully to the capital, performed his mission and returned in safety. The arms were removed just in time to save them from falling into the hands of the rebels. Soon after completing this service, Mr. Butler was appointed commissary with the rank of Captain, but was soon after assigned duty on the staff of General Pope and was with that officer during his campaign through Northern Missouri, at Island No. 10, and other points. In September, 1861, he was appointed Major of the Fifth Illinois Calvary. In June, 1862, he was promoted to Colonel in the regular army for gallantry on the battle field of Farmington, Mississippi, but by permission of General Wool, still remained on the staff of General Pope, and shared the fortunes of that officer in the Virginia campaign, and also in Minnesota against the Indians. He was honorably discharged after the close of the war, in 1865. On May 26, 1864, Colonel Butler united in marriage with Miss Jennie McKenzie, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was born September 4, 1845, in Poughkeepsie, New York.

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