Benjamin, Samuel Webster
Age: 20, credited to Berlin, VT
Unit(s): 13th VT INF
Service: enl 8/29/62, m/i 10/10/62, Pvt, Co. C, 13th VT INF, wdd, Gettysburg, 7/3/63, m/o 7/21/63
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: 05/01/1842, Berlin, VT
Burial: Berlin Corner Cemetery, Berlin, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Monica White
Findagrave Memorial #: 75483050
Alias?: None noted
Portrait?: 13th History
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)
Remarks: 13th Vt. History off-site
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Berlin Corner Cemetery, Berlin, VT
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SAMUEL W. BENJAMIN I was born in the town of Berlin, Washington County, Vermont, May 1st, 1842. My boyhood days were like most of the boys brought up on the hill farms of my native town; attended district school when I could and worked when I could not avoid it. I was just 19 when Fort Sumter fell and my young manhood was aroused and at once began to think, read and consider what I ought to do. There was only one subject, the all absorbing topic of the war around every fire side and when two or more met at the post office, country store, church, on the roads leading to Mont- pelier, and in fact all seemed anxious as to consequences as my father and most of the neighbors thought that President Lincoln's proclamation for 75,000 volunteers would put down the rebellion and restore order in less than 90 days. Those who responded to President Lincoln's first call were of the organized militia of the state and such only seemed to be called. I was young and knew nothing about the requirements of a soldier. After the battle of First Bull Run and the success of the Rebel army I began to see that serious war was at hand and many would be needed to save the Union from destruction. During the first year of the war my patriotism said volunteer and go, so at the first opportunity, August 21, 1862, I enlisted and joined Company C, 13th Regiment, Vermont Volunteers, and after a few days of drill went with my company to Brattleboro, Vermont, and was mustered in as a full fledged soldier and started for Washington. I was proud that I was a soldier and glad to do all I could to help put down the Rebellion. As I recall I was only an average soldier, but performed my duty as well as I could in camp, on the picket line, the march, and in battle. Our regiment after we left Washington crossed Long Bridge into Virginia and was placed on the front picket line and called upon at once for the strenuous duties of veteran soldiers. We were drilled and prepared for encounter with the enemy as rapidly as possible as there was danger of a battle any day. We moved often during the fall and early winter of 1862, camping down on wet and frozen ground for days without tents or other protection from rain and snow. Many were sick and sent to the hospital and some died. We soon realized that the life of a soldier during an active campaign in northern Virginia in the winter time was severe and active duty, which only the more hardy and robust could endure. I recollect the old camps and what occurred at them very well, some of them we loved and some we hated. The hospitals at Camp Fairfax Court House and Wolf Run Shoals were filled with the sick and many of our comrades died from fever, measles and the diseases Incident to army life. Camp Vermont and Widow Violet were delightful and much enjoyed. Winter was over and General Hooker and General Lee were down on the banks of the Rappahannock preparing for battle and all along the line there was indications of an active spring campaign and the better informed seemed to believe our brigade would have plenty of fighting before their time expired. The timid were down cast but nearly all were thoughtful and courageous and ready to meet the foe at any time. I remember that eventful 25th day of June, 1863, when in early morning we bid good bye to our lovely camp on the banks of the Occoquan and commenced that seven days' march up the valley of the Potomac towards Maryland in pursuit of General Lee and his great army of Northern Virginia. We met him and his veterans at Gettysburg, July 1st, 1863. That march, and all that pertained to it, is still fresh in memory. And the battle too, and its mighty struggle, carnage and slaughter, the awful scenes on the battlefield, the sound of cannon, explosion of caisson and bursting of shell, the roar of musketry, the screeching shrapnel and hissing ball, the stifling air, surcharged with powder, smoke, grape and canister, the rebel yell, the clash of arms, the moan- ing of the wounded and dying, the dreadful charge we made against General Pickett's advancing columns, the hand to hand struggle, the numerous dead all about us, all still indelibly fixed in memory, I have special reason to recall General Pickett's famous charge and how Colonel Randall led us out against the coming foe, for it was in this charge just after we returned to position that I was wounded by an iron ball from an exploded shell in the right side of spinal column, supposed at the time to be mortal. Was taken from the field and placed in a barn, which was used as a hospital. Re- mained there six hours, examined by the surgeons and they ordered me sent to Balti- more for surgical treatment. Rode all the way on top of a freight car lying face down and did not arrive in Baltimore until the next day about eleven o'clock. Was taken to the Soldiers' Relief and remained until the next day and then sent forward to Philadelphia. Remained over one day and was sent forward to New York City and placed in a hospital and here remained until about the 12th, the day our regiment arrived on their way home, and there joined my regiment and went with them to Brattleboro, and was placed in the hospital where I remained until July 21, and was mustered out with the regiment and went home to Berlin. Was not able to walk but was anxious to go home and with the assistance of my dear comrades reached home thankful that I was not numbered with the dead on the gory field of Gettysburg. The ball remained in my side until August 30, 1899, and it was a source of pain and dis- ability for over thirty-six years. It was taken out 8% inches below the place where it entered my body. It was indeed a close call, but it was in the service of my country in a glorious cause and I am satisfied.
SAMUEL W. BENJAMIN.
Source: Sturtevant, p. 123
SAMUEL WEBSTER BENJAMIN.
Veteran of Civil War Died in Montpelier Wednesday Evening.
Samuel Webster Benjamin, age 74 years. A Civil war veteran, who for 36 years, carried a bullet in his back, received in the battle of Gettysburg, died at his home on Barre street in Montpelier Wednesday evening, following a few weeks' illness resulting from a shock. The deceased was born in Berlin May 1, 1842, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Benjamin, one of eight children, and lived in that town until he came to Montpelier in 1907. He was married March 2, 1865, to Edna Lucy Downing of Barre and two children were born to them, of who Eda died in 1874, while one daughter, Mrs. Karl Keith, and his widow survive the deceased in his own family. He also leaves a brother, Ira, who lives in Berlin, and two sisters, Mrs. P.P. House and Mrs. A. H. Stewart of Berlin.
He comes from a family who lived many years in Berlin, his great-grandfather having been one of the early residents of the town. His grandfather for many years operated the first sawmill constructed in Berlin near what is known as Benjamin falls and near the farm upon which the deceased was born and reared. He obtained a district school education, after which he went to Barre academy. In 1862 he left home for the first time, enlisting in Company C, 13th Vermont regiment, in the Civil war. His regiment was part of the army of the Potomac and it was in General Pickett's charge that Mr. Benjamin was wounded, a bullet going nearly through his body and lodging in his back, where it remained for 36 years. Then it gave indications that it was working out and he submitted to an operation, the bullet being removed, after which Mr. Benjamin carried it in his vest pocket as a remembrance of the famous charge.
Upon his return from the war he took up civilian life in the manner in which his ancestors had always been prominent and was several years an official in Berlin, including lister and selectman. He was a Republican and always took a part in the elections during the active years of his life. When arrangements for the reunion of the 13th regiment were made in 1903 he was president of the committee. He was prominently connected with the getting of the franchise for the electric road. He was connected with the grange for many years.
The funeral will take place at 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon.
Source: Barre Times, May 31, 1918
Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.