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Pierce Mason Butler (April 11, 1798 – August 20, 1847) was an American soldier and statesman who served as the 56th Governor of South Carolina from 1836 to 1838. He was killed while serving as colonel of the Palmetto Regiment at the Battle of Churubusco, during the Mexican–American War.

Pierce Mason Butler
Pierce Mason Butler.jpg
Portrait of Colonel Pierce Mason Butler made during the 1840s
56th Governor of South Carolina
In office
December 1, 1836 – December 10, 1838
Lieutenant William DuBose
Preceded by George McDuffie
Succeeded by Patrick Noble
Personal details
Born (1798-04-11)April 11, 1798
Edgefield County, South Carolina
Died August 20, 1847(1847-08-20) (aged 49)
Mexico City, D.F., Mexico
Resting place Christ Episcopal Church, Greenville, South Carolina
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Miranda Julia Duval
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
South Carolina militia
Years of service 1818–1829, 1838–1847
Rank Colonel
Commands Palmetto Regiment

Mexican–American War

Born in Edgefield County, South Carolina, Butler was a son of William Butler (1759–1821) and a brother of Andrew Pickens Butler and William Butler, Jr., all of whom served in the United States Congress. He was educated by Moses Waddel at the Willington Academy in Willington, South Carolina.

Butler was appointed a second lieutenant in the United States Army in 1818 and rose to the rank of captain before resigning his commission in 1829. Following his term as Governor of South Carolina, he became agent to the Cherokee at Fort Gibson (present day Muskogee County, Oklahoma), a post he held until 1846.

Following his death in Mexico, Butler's body was returned to South Carolina for burial. He was first entombed at Trinity Episcopal Church, just across from the State House. In December 1853 he was reburied in the Butler Family Cemetery, in the graveyard of what is now Butler Methodist Church in Saluda County. Others buried in the plot are his father, Major General William Butler, his mother, Behethland Foote Moore Butler, a sister, five of his six brothers, Colonel Zachariah Smith Brooks, grandfather of Preston Brooks, and two children of his brother William, the only sibling not buried there. He is buried at Christ Episcopal Church in Greenville. Collectively they were four Colonels, one General, one Lt. Colonel, three Majors, and one Judge and US Senator. The General was a member of Congress, too.[1]

James C. Gardner, who served from 1954–1958 as the mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana, is a descendant of Pierce Mason Butler.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Yarborough, Motte Jean. "Pierce Mason Butler and the Palmetto Regiment" in Saluda County: In Scene and Story. (Columbia, South Carolina Tricentennial Press, 1970) 15.

External linksEdit