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Benjamin Armstrong
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Birth: Aug. 17, 1804
Delaware, USA
Death: May 23, 1891
Delaware, USA

Husband of Ann Mendenhall Armstrong the owners of the "Armstrong House" in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.

death cert at

From Free Lance Star - Used with permission.

Lots of history; lots of rooms Farmhouse ready for next generation
By RICHARD AMRHINE-Dated July 22, 2005

LONG BEFORE IT was known as 10639 Gordon Road, the property with the antebellum farmhouse took its place in American Civil War history.

As the Battle of the Wilderness unfolded in early May 1864, the 9-year-old home of the Armstrong family was serving as the temporary headquarters of Gen. George G. Meade and his Army of the Potomac.

Union tents covered the Armstrong tract, which then reached the banks of the Ni River.

Inside one of those tents was Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who commanded all of the Federal armies by then and was Meade’s superior.

Grant was frustrated but stoic. In two brutal days at the Wilderness, a few miles west of the temporary headquarters, he had lost nearly 18,000 men, while Confederate losses were put at less than 8,000. Still, the battle was indecisive, and the fighting had already shifted to Spotsylvania Court House, just a mile south of his encampment.

In his tent, Grant wrote a message to his chief of staff, Gen. Henry Halleck in Washington. Grant wanted President Lincoln to understand his intent to persevere.

“I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer,” he wrote, a statement reported in many Northern newspapers. Eventually the quotation became the title of a 1988 book, “If It Takes All Summer—The Battle of
Spotsylvania” by William D. Matter.

The message was sent on May 11, 1864, the day before the notorious battle at the Bloody Angle, and his encampment along the Ni would be turned into a field hospital overflowing with soldiers wounded on the nearby battleground.

A Union surgeon offered this account:

“On the morning of the 12th the corps made an assault upon the rebel works, and three hours after it began, nearly 2,000 wounded had been brought to
field hospitals. It was remarked, in the cases of those seriously wounded during the action of this morning, that the shock was far more severe and of longer continuance than in those previously treated during the campaign.
This is to be referred to their march during the night in the mud and rain, and to the fact that the assault commenced before the men had been allowed
to have their morning coffee.”

In the 20th century, the property became known as the Hash family farm. But it’s changed hands a few times since.

Today, the property stretches alongside Gordon Road, named for the young Confederate officer John Brown Gordon who was promoted to major general after distinguishing himself at Wilderness and Spotsylvania. It is two miles south of State Route 3, about six miles west of Fredericksburg.

Built in 1855, the house has been thoroughly restored by its present owner, Ed Whelan, owner of Stafford Construction Co. and Dreamland Development.

“The place was in pretty bad shape when I first saw it,” Whelan said. That was three years ago.

“People said I was crazy, but I wasn’t afraid to tackle it since I was in the building business,” he said.

Whelan has now put the property up for sale, listing it with Mike Skidmore and Leona Homan of LaCasa Realty Inc. The asking price is $795,000. The availability of an adjacent 20-acre parcel that includes a barn Whelan built
and a pond is negotiable.

The house sits on nearly five acres and has about 4,300 square feet of living space including the partially finished basement. There are three fireplaces.

The original house was expanded at least twice. A two-story addition that includes an upper-level master suite was built in the 1870s. About 50 years later, a porch was enclosed, creating space for a kitchen and secondary
bedrooms upstairs.

All rooms have their original heart-pine floors, and on several it is unlikely that a marble would stay put. Stair steps and the thresholds between rooms show wear from 150 years of use. Floorboards originally from the attic were borrowed for flooring used in the kitchen expansion.

Whelan’s efforts on the property have been significant. The kitchen has been updated with new stainless-steel appliances. The counters have been topped with granite. Work is nearly complete on a modernization of the master

The house already had a second-story laundry room.

Whelan finished off the main portion of the basement with some wood planking and recessed lighting. The original rough-hewn beams, as well as the 2-foot-thick painted stone foundation walls, have been left exposed.

The root cellar with access to utilities is nearby. Aging heating and air conditioning were replaced with a dual-zone system. The electrical and plumbing systems have been redone.

On the exterior, the siding is in good shape, and much of the roofing is new. Windows that needed to be replaced have been.

A barn believed to date to 1914 re-mains usable. Whelan said he recently kept as many as 300 hay bales in its loft.

More recent additions from the 1980s include a multivehicle garage with workshop, an 11-stall stable with tack room, a swimming pool and a pool house. Whelan added a hot tub to the pool deck.

The grounds are cordoned off with new fencing that Whelan installed. There are large, mature trees all around, including magnolia, walnut, cherry and apple.

Some of the trees were certainly around to witness the horrors of 141 years ago.

To reach RICHARD AMRHINE: 540/374-5406

Family links: 
  Archibald Armstrong (1759 - 1839)
  Sarah Richards Armstrong (1763 - 1850)
  Ann Mendenhall Armstrong (1806 - 1879)*
  William L Armstrong (1829 - ____)*
  Martha Ann Armstrong Wakenhut (1835 - 1875)*
  Mahlon Armstrong (1837 - 1918)*
  Anna Maria Armstrong (1844 - 1920)*
  John Armstrong (1786 - 1869)*
  Benjamin Armstrong (1804 - 1891)
*Calculated relationship
Lower Brandywine Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Owls Nest
New Castle County
Delaware, USA
Created by: Richard Morrison
Record added: May 02, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 51897675
Benjamin Armstrong
Added by: Kimberly
Benjamin Armstrong
Added by: Kimberly
Benjamin Armstrong
Added by: Richard Morrison
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 Added: Feb. 13, 2011

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