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 Benjamin Franklin Kelley

Benjamin Franklin Kelley

Birth
Hampton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA
Death 16 Jul 1891 (aged 84)
Oakland, Garrett County, Maryland, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 1, Site 141-C
Memorial ID 6523 · View Source
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Civil War Union Brigadier General. He was born in New Hampton, New Hampshire, and moved to Wheeling, in western Virginia, at the age of 19. For over 2 decades he was a merchant, then in 1851 became a freight agent of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. When the war began, he raised the 1st (West) Virginia and was named its Colonel on May 22, 1861. On June 3 at Philippi, the 90 day regiment fought Confederate volunteers and he suffered a severe wound. When he returned to duty, he received promotion to Brigadier General. His rapid rise had little basis in military experience and prowess but probably occurred because of his staunch pro-Union efforts in western Virginia. His principal duty and service throughout the war was to guard the vital Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in Maryland and West Virginia (after statehood). His command constantly operated against Confederate raiding parties that tried to sever the railroad line and destroy the depots. He participated in the Union pursuit after Gettysburg and the November 1863 attack on Brigadier General John D. Imboden's camp at Moorefield, West Virginia. In 1864 his command fought at Cumberland, Maryland, and again at Moorefield. In November a Confederate raiding party surprised and captured the Union depot at New Creek, West Virginia. His performance in this disaster and his bungled pursuit drew severe criticism from his superior, Major General Philip H. Sheridan. On February 21, 1865, Confederate guerrillas, under the cover of darkness, entered Cumberland, Maryland, capturing him and his department commander, Major General George Crook. They were then sent to Richmond's Libby Prison. The affair created an uproar and both officers soon secured a special exchange. With the brevet rank of Major General, he resigned on June 1, 1865. After the war he held a number of government posts. He was, successively, collector of internal revenue for West Virginia, superintendent of the Hot Springs, Arkansas, reservation, and examiner of pensions in Washington D.C. He would later die in Oakland, Maryland.

Bio by: Ugaalltheway


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Oct 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6523
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Benjamin Franklin Kelley (10 Apr 1807–16 Jul 1891), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6523, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .