Butler, Richard (d.1791) (DNB00)

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BUTLER, RICHARD (d. 1791), major-general in the United States army, was a native of Ireland, and went to America some time before 1760. At the outbreak of the war of independence he became a lieutenant-colonel of the Pennsylvania troops, and in 1777 held that rank in Morgan's rifle corps, with which he distinguished himself on various occasions. In 1781 he was with Lafayette in Virginia, and at the close of the war was lieutenant-colonel of the 9th Pennsylvania regiment. About 1787 he was agent for Indian affairs in Oregon; and in St. Clair's expedition against the Indian tribes in 1791 commanded the right wing of the force, with the rank of major-general. The troops, composed of United States regulars and militia, were attacked in their camp, about twenty miles from Miami Towns, by the Indians, on the morning of 4 Nov. 1791, and defeated with heavy loss. Butler, after fighting bravely on foot in the front line, was shot down just as he mounted his horse, and was tomahawked and scalped.

[Drake's American Biography (1852); Diary of Colonel Winthrop Sargent, adjutant-general, U.S. army, in the campaign of 1791, edited by his grandson (Wormsloe, 1851, 4to).]

H. M. C.