"B" is for Butler, Matthew Calbraith (1836-1909)

Sep 5, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

"B" is for Butler, Matthew Calbraith (1836-1909). Soldier, U.S. senator. In June 1861, the Edgefield Hussars—with Butler as captain—were mustered into Confederate service. He distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and service in the Virginia theater. Promoted to brigadier general in late 1864, he and his division were ordered to South Carolina in a vain attempt to thwart Sherman’s march. In 1870 he was a candidate for lieutenant governor on the fusionist Union Reform Party ticket. Concluding that reform was impossible, he became a champion of the “straight-out” Democratic movement of 1876 and helped orchestrate the “Edgefield Plan” of using fraud, intimidation, and violence to restore white rule. He was elected to the U.S. senate in 1876 and served until 1895. As senator, Matthew Calbraith Butler secured millions of dollars for projects in South Carolina.