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Sgt Benjamin Franklin
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Birth: 1841
Boone County
Indiana, USA
Death: Apr. 27, 1865
Tennessee, USA

He was captured during battle at Kenesaw Mt. GA. June 27, 1864. He was released from prison in April 1865. Franklin was among many others from confederate prisons who boarded the steamer Sultana to travel up the Mississippi River to home. The Sultana exploded near Memphis, TN, and Benjamin perished.

His service record states:
"Enlisted in Company F, Indiana 40th Infantry Regiment on 18 Nov 1861.
Mustered out on 27 Apr 1865 at Steamer 'Sultana', Memphis, TN."

He was first buried in Cedar Hill Cem. in Lebanon, IN; later reinterred in Oak Hill Cem.

from The Lebanon Patriot:
May 4 1865


"The steamboat Sultana, from Vicksburg, with about 2,300 people on board, of whom 1,964 were exchanged Union prisoners, when about ten miles above Memphis exploded her boilers. The boat took fire and burned to the water. Of all on board only between 700 and 800 are supposed to be saved, and many of them scalded, burned or injured by the explosion. A large number of the soldiers on board were from Indiana and Ohio. Several members of the 40th Regiment were on board, among whom we notice the names of N. D. Everman and Benjamin Franklin, of Company F [40th IN].

Mr. Everman was rescued and has arrived home. He states that Capt. Hazelrigg of Co. K, 40th Regiment, was also on board, and that Hazelrigg and Franklin were not injured by the explosion, as he saw them afterwards, but he supposes both of them to have drowned. It is possible that many now supposed to be lost may have swum ashore or floated downstream and been picked up, and will soon be heard from."

from Hazzard's History of Henry County, Indiana, 1822-1906, Military Edition, Volume I:
published 1904

"[The Steamer Sultana] was a regular St. Louis and New Orleans packet, and left the latter port on her fatal trip, April 21, 1865, arriving at Vicksburg, Mississippi, with about two hundred passengers and crew on board. . . [There she received] on board 1,965 Federal soldiers and thirty five officers, just released from the Confederate prisons at Cahaba, Alabama, Macon and Andersonville, Georgia, and belonging to the States of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee and West Virginia. Besides these, there were two companies of infantry, under arms, making a grand total of 2,300 souls on board.

"About two o'clock in the morning of the 27th, as the boat was passing through a group of islands known as the "Old Hen and Chickens," and while about opposite Tagleman's Landing, she burst one of her boilers and almost immediately caught fire, for the fragments of the boiler had cut the cabin and the hurricane deck in two and the splintered pieces had fallen, many of them, back upon the burning coal fires that were now left exposed. The light, dry wood of the cabins burned like tinder and it was but a short time ere the boat was wrapped in flames, burning to the water's edge and sinking. Hundreds were forced into the water and drowned in squads, those who could swim being unable to free themselves from those who could not and consequently perishing with them.

". . . official investigation showed that ...
[t]he boilers of the Sultana had been constructed for the upper Mississippi River trade and had afterwards been put in a boat running on the lower Mississippi to New Orleans. The lower part of the river being muddy caused sediment to sink in the boilers and the boilers became leaky: this added to the fact that the boilers were too light and the vessel loaded to nearly her double capacity, were, in brief, the causes of the explosion. The vessel had been in continuous use and no opportunity given to clean the boilers."

Benjamin was the son of Valentine Franklin and Rosanna McDaniels who were married 18 Oct 1838 in Boone Co., IN.
Family links: 
  Valentine G Franklin (____ - 1888)
Oak Hill Cemetery
Boone County
Indiana, USA
Maintained by: Harvey Bell
Originally Created by: Rebecca Paddon
Record added: Sep 20, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 76853478
Sgt Benjamin Franklin
Added by: Rebecca Paddon
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God Speed Corporal
- Robert Winters, Sr.
 Added: Oct. 26, 2011

- Rebecca Paddon
 Added: Sep. 20, 2011

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