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Alfred Agustus Benfield
Birth: May 25, 1831
Morganton
Burke County
North Carolina, USA
Death: May 1, 1902
Morganton
Burke County
North Carolina, USA

On Bronze Plaque:

PVT CO H 65 NC CAV
Confederate States Army
Prisoner of War

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Alfred Agustus Benfield
May 25, 1831 May 1, 1902

SPOUSE:

Louisa Winters Benfield
March 8, 1829 May 17, 1907

MARRIED: August 10, 1852 in Burke County, Morganton, NC

CHILDREN:

Sarah Jane Benfield 1852-1856
Marcus Lenoir Benfield 1854-1939
Leah E. Benfield 1855-1858
Charles Manly (McDowell) Benfield 1857-1890
Temperance Benfield 1859-1860
Susan Benfield 1871-1936
Thomas Molton Benfield 1862-1938
Alfred Agustus Benfield 1866-1946
John Douglas Benfield 1867-1941

Harriet A. Benfield Saulmon
August 30, 1869 February 27, 1953

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This is a transcription of a letter written by Alfred Agustus Benfield to his wife Louisa during his service as a Confederate soldier in the Civil War before he was captured by Union troops. I am placing this letter before the Civil War information because family, friends and community were very important to Alfred. That was his ultimate legacy.

My periods, question marks or unknown words are in parentheses. Please note that there is little punctuation and many words are phonetically written.

Please note, there are photos not showing.


(Front Page)

Big Creek Gap, Cammel (Campbell) County, East Tenn. July the 10th 1863

My Dear Wife I again take my pen in hand to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am a live yet and in common health and do hope thefew lines will come to you in due time and find you & the children all well & doing well & satisfied. I want you to live contented & to do the best you can till I come home if it is the Lords will for me to ever get there & if I live I am coming home someday or other before very long (?) better I can tell you than we have suffered anuff in the last three weeks to kill anny set of man in the world(.) they have kept us running all the time pretty near & give us nothing to eat hardly only as we could by it & beg it along the road(.) we have to spend all of our money for something to eat & then half starve to death I tell you we are nearly starving we are nearly getting so weak we hant able to do duty but we have it to do. I tell you men cant stand it mutch longer nor they wonts do it(.) thare has ten run away out of our company and eight or ten days & that hant all that will go if they dont feed them better(.) our hole Bertalon (battalion) tuck ther guns & all march up to the majors quarters & stacked our guns up in a pile & told him we wouldent do no more duty till we got something to eat & ( ) we shouldent till we got something to eat ( )

(On Back)

and he started some men out and got something to eat in a short time and they have done a little better since that time & if we have to stack our arms again we will all go home the next time & I think that will be before long I tell we are seeing hard times hear now I can tell you we have run our horses down I had my mare right fat and could have got four hundred Dollars for her & sins them yankees come in hear and we had to run our horses so & got nothing to feed our horses on but a little grass till our horses has fell away till they hant hardly able to go (?) I can tell you I have been in one fite with the yankees & if it is the lords will I never want to be in neary nother. I have heard some folks say that the yankees culdent shoot but that is a lie I (k)now for they shot at us an they shot in a hurry & close to us so I dont care about trying them no more if I can keep out of it I tell you thare hant no fun in being in a fite when the balls is flying around your head as thick as hornets around ther nest I tell you it must be the murcy of god that saves a mans life in a fite(.) I had no idea of coming out of it a live but I come out safe but I tell you they shot close to me so I will close that subject(.) you must excuse me for not writing before now for I hant had the chance(.) I received two letters from you the other day & one from Wm. Winters(.) one of them was dated June the 5th & the other June the 21st(.) tell W.m. I will write to him soon ( ) will close for this time A Benfield to L.C. Benfield

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Chronology:

Alfred enlisted in the Confederate Army on July 14, 1862 in McDowell County, NC.

Captured August 1, 1863 and transferred to Camp Chase in Ohio August 11, 1863, then moved to Camp Douglas in IL.

At Camp Douglas, IL he was discharged June 16, 1865.

The units in which Alfred served are below:

Company F, 58th P. Rangers Infantry Regiment North Carolina 29 Jul 1862.

Company C, 5th Battn Cavalry Regiment North Carolina on 29 Jul 1862.

Company H, 6th Cavalry Regiment North Carolina on 3 Aug 1863.

6th Cavalry Regiment North Carolina 26 Apr 1865
Company C, 6 North Carolina Cavalry. (65 State Troops.) 6th Regiment, North Carolina Cavalry

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POW INFO:

[ON ACTUAL DOCUMENT]

Kemper Barracks, Cincinnati, Ohio
August 10, 1863 Confined August 9, 1863
Captured in Kentucky
Forwarded August 11, 1863 to Camp Chase in Ohio
Muster Roll:
65 Regiment, NC Calvary
April 30 to Aug 31, 1863
Enlisted July 14, 1862 in Marion, NC (for 3 years)
By Captain Conley (Conly)
Last paid by: M.J. Bearden
April 30, 1863
Absent
Remarks: "Captured about the first of August 1863 whilst on raid in Ky. Under Col. Scott"
*This company was formerly Company C, 5th Battalion North Carolina Calvary.
The 6th Regiment North Carolina Calvary (65th State Troops) was formed early in 1863 by consolidation of the 5th and 7th Battalions, North Carolina Calvary. For a time after the consolidation of the companies continued to be known by the same letters they bore in the battalions; but were finally changed as follows: Companies A to D, 5th Battalion, became Companies I, K, H, and B, respectively, of the regiment; and Companies A to F, 7th Battalion, became Companies E, F, (New) G, C, D and A, respectively, of the regiment.

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[ON ACTUAL DOCUMENT]

(Confederate)
B | 5 Cav. | NC
Alfred Benfield
Pvt, Co. C, 5 Reg't NC Cav.
Appears on a Descriptive Roll of Prisoners of War At Camp Chase, Ohio.
Arrested:
Where: Wild Cat, Ky
When: Aug 1, 1863.
Received at Camp Chase, Ohio:
When: Aug 12, 1863.
Whence: Camp Nelson Ky
By Whose order: Maj. Williams
Description:
Height, Age, Eyes, Complexion- All left Blank
Date of Departure: August 24, 1863
Remarks: Transferred to Camp Douglass

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[ON ACTUAL DOCUMENT]

(Confederate.)
B | 5 | NC
Alf Benfield
Priv. Co. C, 5 Regt NC
Appears on a Roll of Prisoners of War
Received at Camp Douglas, Ill. During the month Of Aug., 1863
Roll dated: Sept 1, 1863
Where captured: Wild Cat [Ky]
When Captured: Aug. 1, 1863

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[ON ACTUAL DOCUMENT]

(Confederate)
B | 5 Batt | NC
Alfred Benfield
Pvt. Co. C, 5 Regt NC Batt
Appears on a Roll of Prisoners of War
Received at Camp Douglas, Ill.
Where captured: Somerset, Ky
When captured: Aug 1, 1863
When received: Aug 22, 1863
When transferred:
Remarks: Discharged June 16/65 [1865]
Camp Douglas, Ill., Register No, 1; page 192
T.M. Weaver, Copyist

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[ON ACTUAL DOCUMENT]

(Confederate)
B | 5 Batt | NC
Alfred Banfield [Misspelled and is noted with an x']
Pvt. Co. C, 5 Reg' NC Bn [Battalion]
Appears on a Roll of Prisoners of War
At Camp Douglas, Ill., discharged June 16, 1865,
In accordance with General Orders No. 109, A.
G.O., Washington, D.C., June 6, 1865.
Roll dated: Not dated
Where captured: Somerset, Ky
When Captured: Aug 1, 1863.
Remarks: Burke Co., NC
Number of roll:
200; sheet 1
W F Spencer, Copyist.

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[ON ACTUAL DOCUMENT]

(Confederate)
B | 6 Cav./5 Batt | | NC
Alfred Bofield [Incorrect spelling noted with an x']
Pvt. 5, NC B
Name appears as signature to an
Oath of Allegiance
To the United States, subscribed to at (date and
Place not stated).*

Place of residence Burke Co, NC
Complexion fair; hair brown;
Eyes grey; height 5 ft. 11 in.

Remarks: Morganton, NC
*Endorsement shows:
"Roll of Prisoners of War released June 16th, 1865."
Number of roll:
351; sheet 1
Camp Douglas, Ill.
R.B. Duncan, Copyist

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Alfred was not illiterate and insisted on incorrect spellings of his name be noted:

[ON ACTUAL DOCUMENT]

Write nothing above this line.
No. 2- Bofield, Alfred
Pvt 5 NC B

1 Carded Roll 200 of
Camp Douglas shows above as
Alfred Banfield
Pvt Co C. 5 N.C. Bn

2 Carded Reg No 1 of
Camp Douglas shows as
Alfred Benfield
Pvt Co C, 5 N.C. Batt

3 Carded Reg [2 or is] of
Camp Chase shows as
Alfred Benfield
Pvt Co C, Regt. N.C. Cav.
All same prisoner.
Feb 10 [-09] R.W.P.

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Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Louisa Catherine Winters Benfield (1829 - 1907)
 
 Children:
  Susan E Benfield Whisenant (1861 - 1936)*
  Alfred Augustus Benfield (1866 - 1946)*
  Harriet Benfield Saulmon (1869 - 1953)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Oak Hill United Methodist Church Cemetery
Morganton
Burke County
North Carolina, USA
 
Maintained by: Jackie Saulmon Ramirez
Originally Created by: R. Denise Franklin (inac...
Record added: Aug 20, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21038621
Alfred Agustus Benfield
Added by: Jackie Saulmon Ramirez
 
Alfred Agustus Benfield
Added by: Jackie Saulmon Ramirez
 
Alfred Agustus Benfield
Added by: Richard Jordan
 
 
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