Benjamin Helm Bristow


Benjamin Helm Bristow Famous memorial

Elkton, Todd County, Kentucky, USA
Death 22 Jun 1896 (aged 64)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Plot Section 98, Oak Hill Plot, Lot 9049
Memorial ID 7650110 View Source

Civil War Union Army Officer, Presidential Cabinet Secretary. The son of Congressman Francis M. Bristow of Kentucky, he was admitted to the Kentucky State Bar Association in 1853 and practiced law with his father. After the Civil War started he joined the Union Army, and was commissioned as Lieutenant Colonel of the 25th Kentucky (Union) Volunteer Infantry on September 21, 1861. He was severely wounded at the April 1862 Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee, and was forced to resign his commission because of those wounds on April 15, 1862. However, by the summer of 1862 he was recovered enough for field service again. He assisted in the raising of the 8th Kentucky (Union) Volunteer Cavalry, and was commissioned as its Lieutenant Colonel on September 8, 1862. He assumed command of the unit in January 1863, when its previous commander, Colonel James Murrell Shackleford, was promoted to Brigadier General. Advanced to Colonel on April 1, 1863, he led his men as it participated in the chase and capture of Confederate cavalryman General John Hunt Morgan during his July 1863 raid into Ohio. Honorably mustered out of the service on September 23, 1863, he served a term in the Kentucky State Senate before being appointed District Attorney for Louisville, Kentucky. He gained renown for his vigorous enforcement of the 1866 Civil Rights Act, and spent some time as the law partner of future United States Supreme Court Justice John Harlan. In 1870 Congress established the office of United States Solicitor General, and Benjamin Bristow was appointed as the first to hold that position. Serving until 1872, he was later appointed as United States Secretary of the Treasury by President Ulysses S. Grant. While Secretary of the Treasury, he was instrumental in smashing the "Whiskey Ring", a conspiracy to defraud the government out of revenue from the distillation of whiskey. In 1876 he was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, which eventually went to Rutherford B. Hayes. He resigned as Treasury Secretary in June 1876, and eventually established a law practice in New York City, New York, where he passed away in 1896.

Bio by: Garver Graver

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Garver Graver
  • Added: 3 Jul 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7650110
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Benjamin Helm Bristow (20 Jun 1832–22 Jun 1896), Find a Grave Memorial ID 7650110, citing Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .