Do you have any more valuable information aside from a few enlistment and Camp transfers?
Here was what I found on the last name you provided for US Post Returns.
Warren A Bufler
Overton, Camp, Mindanao
Camp Overton Mindanao, Philippine Islands
Fort Omaha, Nebraska
J S Bufler
Jackson, Draft Rendezvous
Dear Ms. Budden,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
Based on the dates and service locations provided, the soldier was most likely serving in the Regular Army. We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Enlistment Papers, 1798 - October 31, 1912 and Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798 - 1914 (M233) in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1762 - 1917 (Record Group 94) that include records documenting enlisted service in the Regular Army. We also located Letters Received, 1863 - 1917 (documenting 1850 - 1917) in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1762 - 1917 (Record Group 94) that includes letters, reports, and papers relating to the military service of officers of the Regular Army. For information about these records, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) via email at email@example.com.
M233 has been digitized and is available on Fold3 as Army Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914; on Ancestry as U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914; and on FamilySearch as United States Registers of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914. There may be a fee for using Ancestry and Fold3. Instead, please check for access at your local library as many library systems subscribe to these sites, making them free for their patrons.
We searched the U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914 available on Ancestry and could not locate an enlisted soldier with the last name of Buffler. Please note that if he was an officer, he would not be listed in these records. However, we did locate two entries for James H. Bouffler which may be a match under a variant spelling. The first entry indicates that James H. Bouffler enlisted on 21 September, 1870 in New York, was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was 5 foot 8 and a half inches tall. He was 28 at the time of his enlistment, putting his birth date at approximately 1842. He enlisted in the 12th Infantry Regiment, Company I. He was discharged 21 September 1875 upon expiration of service. The place where he was discharged is difficult to read. It may be Camp Halleck, Nevada. The second entry indicated that he reenlisted on 22 September 1875 at Camp Halleck, Nevada, in Company I, though again, the handwriting is difficult to read. He was discharged June 25, 1878 at Camp McDermit, Nevada. His rank at his time of discharge was private.
Next, we located 8 record series created by Company I, 12th Infantry Regiment and 17 series created by the 12th Infantry Regiment in the Records of U.S. Regular Army Mobile Units (Record Group 391) during the 1870s when James H. Bouffler served that may be useful for researching his service. We also located 3 record series created by 12th Infantry Regiment in the Records of U.S. Army Continental Commands (Record Group 393) for the same time period. For information about these non-digitized records, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience as we balance mission-critical work and the safety of our staff during the pandemic. Please check NARA’s web page about COVID-19 updates for the latest information.
Additionally, we located Burial Registers, 1867 - 2006 in the Records of the Department of Veterans (Record Group 15) that include a record of James H. Boufler, son of Private Boufler of the Company I, 12th Infantry Regiment, being buried at the cemetery at Fort McDowell, Angel Island, California. His date of death is May 17, 1877. According to records in the series Interment Control Forms, 1928 - 1962 in the Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General (Record Group 92), he was moved to Golden Gate National Cemetery in 1947. Handwritten notes give several variant spellings of the last name. We are attaching copies of the records to the end of our response. An image of the tombstone is available on Find-A-Grave.
If Private James H. Bouffler of the 12th Infantry Regiment is the soldier you are researching, that would be consistent with the locations you provided. We searched the website of the U.S. Army Center of Military History and located the article The Twelfth Regiment of Infantry. By Lieut. Charles W. Abbot, JR., Adjutant 12th U. S. Infantry. According to the article, the headquarters of the regiment during much of this time period was located at Angel Island, an Island in San Francisco Bay. This would be consistent with his family having a photograph taken in San Francisco. Company I was stationed in Camp Halleck, Nevada at times, and at Angel Island at other times. In 1877, Company I deployed to Camp McDermit, Nevada. in response to the Nez Percé conflict. Elements of the 12th Infantry also deployed in response to the Bannock War and did spend some time at Camp Lyon, Idaho although it is not clear from the article if Company I was involved in this conflict or spent any time at Camp Lyon.
It also is worth noting that in this time period, he had a son that shared his family name and was buried on post. It suggests that James H. Boufller was married, which would be consistent with the photograph of his wife and daughter.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!