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Civil War Soldiers - Roberts

Roberts, Benjamin S., brigadier-general, U.S. Army, was born in Manchester, Vt., Nov. 18, 1810. He was graduated at West Point in 1835 and served on frontier and recruiting duty, but resigned from the army in 1839 and became chief engineer of the construction of the Champlain & Ogdensburg railroad, and later he served as assistant geologist of the state of New York. In 1842 he was employed with Lieut. George W. Whistler in constructing the Russian system of railways, and in 1843 was admitted to the bar and began to practice in Des Moines, Ia. He was lieutenant-colonel of Iowa militia, 1844-46, and on May 27, 1846, was reappointed to the United States army as 1st lieutenant in the mounted rifles. He was promoted captain in Feb., 1847, and during the war with Mexico served at Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Churubusco, and other engagements up to the capture of the Mexican capital. He was brevetted major for gallantry at Chapultepec, lieutenant-colonel for gallantry in the action at Matamoras and at the pass at Galaxara, and the legislature of the state of Iowa presented him with a sword of honor in recognition of his services during the war. He was promoted major early in 1861 and served in New Mexico under Gen. Canby, engaging at Fort Craig, Valverde, Albuquerque and Peralta. He was brevetted lieutenant-colonel for gallantry at Valverde, and on June 16, 1862, was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers. He served as inspector-general on the staff of Gen. Pope at Cedar mountain, Rappahannock station, Sulphur springs and the second Bull Run, was subsequently inspector-general of the Northwest department, and in November commanded an expedition against the Chippewa Indians. In 1863 he commanded first the upper defenses of Washington and then an independent brigade in West Virginia and Iowa, and in 1864, after leading a division of the 19th corps in Louisiana, he was chief of cavalry of the Department of the Gulf until ordered, early in 1865, to command the district of west Tennessee and the cavalry division of the District of Tennessee. On March 13, 1865, he was brevetted brigadier-general in the regular army and major-general of volunteers for gallant and meritorious services at second Bull Run and Cedar mountain. He was mustered out of the volunteer service, Jan. 15, 1866, was promoted lieutenant-colonel in the 3d cavalry, July 28, 1866, and on Dec. 15, 1870, was retired at his own request. He then practiced law in Washington, until his death, which occurred in Washington, D. C., Jan. 29, 1875.

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

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