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Civil War Soldiers - Prentiss

Prentiss, Benjamin M., major-general, U.S. Army, was born in Belleville, Va., Nov. 23, 1819. He removed to Missouri in 1835 and to Quincy, Ill., in 1841, and in 1844 was 1st lieutenant in the Quincy rifles, organized to drive the Mormons out of Hancock, Ill. He was captain and adjutant in the 1st Ill. volunteers during the Mexican war, receiving honorable mention at Buena Vista, and after returning to Quincy engaged as a commission merchant. He was the unsuccessful candidate for Congress from his district in 1860, and at the beginning of the Civil war reorganized his old company and became colonel of the 10th Ill. volunteers, April 29, 1861. He was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers on May 17; commanded Cairo for three months ; led the expedition that raided southern Missouri from Pilot Knob, and on Dec. 28, routed the Confederate force at Mt. Zion, Mo. He joined Grant at Pittsburg landing three days before the battle of Shiloh, and during the first day's fight was captured with most of his command while valiantly holding his position. He was released in Oct., 1862, was promoted major-general of volunteers on Nov. 29, and served on the court-martial of Fitz-John Porter. He subsequently commanded Helena, Ark., in 1863, and repulsed the attack of the Confederate forces under Gens. Price and Holmes there on July 4. Gen. Prentiss resigned his commission, Oct. 28, 1863, and subsequently practiced law in Bethany, Mo. He died there, Feb. 8, 1901.

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

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