Edson M. Butterfield was born in 1846 in Mexico, Oswego County, New York, the son of Vermont natives Almon (1804-1896) and Almira or Elmira (Roel, 1808-1854).
By 1830 the family was living in New York. Almon was living in Mexico, New York in 1840 and by 1850 Edson was attending school with his eight older siblings and living on the family farm in Mexico, New York. By 1855 it seems that Almira had died and Almon had remarried to a woman named Mary; that year Edson was living with his father and stepmother and his large group of siblings in Mexico, New York. Almon apparently married his third wife (although it is unclear what became of his second) Irish-born Joanna Campion, who was 22 years old in 1860.) By 1860 Almon had moved his family west and Edson was attending school and living with his family on a farm in Poyner, Black Hawk County, Iowa.
At some point before 1864 Edson left Iowa and moved to western Michigan.
Edson stood 5’5” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was an 18-year-old lumberman possibly living in Manistee, Manistee County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company I on February 6, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on February 17 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and was killed in action on May 5, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia. He was presumably among the unknown soldiers buried at the Wilderness.
His father was living in Poyner, Black Hawk County, Iowa in 1870, and in Raymond, Black Hawk County, Iowa, in 1892 when he applied for a dependent father’s pension (no. 561997) but the certificate was never granted.