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Berry Greenwood Benson
Birth: Feb. 9, 1843
Hamburg
Aiken County
South Carolina, USA
Death: Jan. 1, 1923

Berry Benson was the son of Abraham M. and Nancy (Harmon or Hannon) Benson. He was serving in the South Carolina militia when the state seceded from the Union, and he was soon mustered into the First Regiment South Carolina Volunteers (Infantry), under the command of Col. Maxcy Gregg. He was present during the attack on Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, S.C., then entrained to Virginia. There, the regiment completed its organization, and Benson was made a corporal in Company H. This regiment became part of Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson's command, and participated at the Battle of Sharpsburg, Md. (Sept. 1862). Benson was then wounded in the Chancellorsville Campaign in Virginia (May 1863) and invalided home. He returned to duty at the end of that year, and in early 1864, he was attached to the Battalion of Sharpshooters (Dunlop's). In that capacity, he fought in Virginia at the Wilderness and at Spotsylvania, and also served as a scout. He was captured on May 16, 1864, and imprisoned at Point Lookout, Maryland, on May 23. Two days later, he escaped by swimming across the Chesapeake, then walked, then swam across the Potomac, attempting to reach Confederate lines, but was recaptured on May 31. On June 5, he was imprisoned at Old Capitol Prison, Washington, D.C., and on July 23, he was transferred to Elmira Prison in New York, reaching there the next day. There, he and several comrades made a tunnel and escaped on October 6, 1864. Walking alone, then taking freight and passenger trains, and finally walking again, he reached Confederate lines in Virginia by the end of October. He received a furlough and visited his family in the Augusta, Georgia, area, then returned to duty as a sharpshooter in Virginia, in January 1865. He experienced much fighting in March and early April, in the Petersburg Campaign, and had been promoted sergeant. When he learned that General Lee was preparing to surrender, he and his brother, Blackwood, carrying their rifles, headed south to join the command of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston in North Carolina. Walking and taking a train, they learned that Johnston was also going to surrender, so the Benson brothers went home, still carrying their rifles, and never surrendered. After the war, Berry Benson became an accountant. In 1868, he married Jeanie (or Jeannie) Oliver of Augusta, Georgia, and they had six children. Benson was used as the model of an anonymous soldier above the Confederate monument in Augusta. His daughter-in-law, Susan Williams Benson, edited his memoirs and was published as BERRY BENSON'S CIVIL WAR BOOK: MEMOIRS OF A CONFEDERATE SCOUT AND SHARPSHOOTER (Athens: The University of Georgia, 1962), from which the above information was gleaned. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Nancy Harmon Benson (1814 - 1857)
 
 Spouse:
  Jeannie Oliver Benson (____ - 1900)*
 
 Children:
  Olive Benson (____ - 1945)*
  Jeanie Benson (1859 - 1949)*
 
 Sibling:
  Berry Greenwood Benson (1843 - 1923)
  Blackwood Ketchum Benson (1845 - 1924)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Sunset Hill Cemetery
North Augusta
Aiken County
South Carolina, USA
 
Created by: Leon Edmund Basile
Record added: Aug 08, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28856862
Berry Greenwood Benson
Added by: Leon Edmund Basile
 
Berry Greenwood Benson
Added by: M Long
 
Berry Greenwood Benson
Added by: M Long
 
 
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