As a member of a distinguished South Carolina family, Matthew Calbraith Butler led a most interesting life. His cavalry service during the Civil War saw him rise from regimental captain to major general in command of a division. He began the war with Jeb Stuart and participated in all of his early campaigns. Butler was wounded in the battle at Brandy Station and lost his foot as a result, but he returned to duty and the battles outside of Richmond in 1864, then hurried South to resist Sherman's advance into South Carolina. Unlike many other Confederate generals, Butler remained influential after the War. He served in the U.S. Senate for eighteen years, oversaw the end of Reconstruction in South Carolina, and was a major general during the Spanish-American War.