He was one of five Butler brothers from Pennsylvania who served in the American Revolution. Butler was commissioned an ensign in the 9th Pennsylvania Regiment on July 1, 1778 at the age of 16. He was promoted to lieutenant on January 28, 1779 and transferred to the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment on January 17, 1781.
He was again transferred to the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment on January 1, 1783 and was discharged on November 3, 1783 when the Continental Army was disbanded.
He was commissioned a captain in the United States Army on March 5, 1792 and transferred to the 4th Sub-Legion on September 4, 1792. On July 18, 1793 he was appointed Adjutant and Inspector of the United States Army and served until May 13, 1794.
He was assigned as a captain in the 4th Infantry Regiment on November 1, 1796. He was transferred to the 2nd Infantry Regiment on April 1, 1802.
He died on May 6, 1803.