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Civil War Soldiers - Benton

Benton, William P., brigadier-general, U.S. Army, was born near Newmarket, Frederick county, Md., Dec. 25, 1828. His father dying when he was but four months old, he was taken by his mother to Indiana in 1836. At the beginning of the Mexican war, when only eighteen years old, he enlisted for the Mexican war as a private in a regiment of mounted riflemen, and fought at Contreras, Churubusco, Chapultepec, and the capture of the City of Mexico. Returning after the war to Richmond, Ind., he was admitted to the bar in 1851, was appointed prosecuting attorney in 1852, and in 1856 was made judge of the common pleas court. Judge Benton was the first man in Wayne county to respond to the president's call for troops, and his company, which he gathered in twenty-four hours, was the first in Indiana to be mustered into the service. He was promoted colonel of the 8th Indiana, had command at Rich mountain and distinguished himself there by personal bravery. Upon the expiration of the first three months he re-enlisted and re-organized the regiment, and reported to Gen. Fremont in Sept., 1861. The regiment, placed in the vanguard of Fremont's army, served in the campaign in Missouri and Kansas. Col. Benton commanded a brigade at Pea ridge, and for gallantry in that battle was promoted to brigadier-general. He took part in the battles of Port Gibson, Jackson, Champion's hill, Black River bridge, the sieges of Vicksburg and Mobile, and was injured at Jackson, Miss. On March 25, 1865, he was brevetted major-general of volunteers, and resigned the following July. While in New Orleans, under appointment from the government, he died in 1867.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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