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William Plummer Benton
[[Image:200px|center|200px|border]]Major General William P. Benton
Personal Information
Born: December 25, 1828(1828-12-25)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: March 14, 1867 (aged 38)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: United States Army
Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Major General (Civil War)
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Battles: Mexican-American War
American Civil War
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

William Plummer Benton (December 25, 1828 – March 14, 1867) was an American lawyer and soldier who served in both the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War, where he would rise to the rank of major general.

Early life[]

Benton was born in New Market, Maryland, but soon after that his family moved to Richmond, Indiana. When Benton was 18 years old, he enlisted as a private in the Mexican War, and fought with gallantry in the mounted infantry at Contreras, Churubusco, Chapultepec and Mexico City.

Returning home at the war's end, he entered college to study law and was admitted to the bar in Indiana in 1851. He was elected district attorney of Wayne County in 1851 and served as such until the outbreak of the Civil War.

Civil war[]

Benton raised the first company from Wayne County. He was its captain when the company became part of the 8th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment, but was elected the regiment's colonel. He led the 8th Indiana in some the earliest fighting of the war during McClellan's Western Virginia campaign of 1861, including the Battle of Rich Mountain.

The regiment was then ordered to Missouri. Benton is said to have commanded a brigade at the Battle of Pea Ridge, although the Official Records lists another officer as the official commander, a member of the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry described as "lacking in the fundamental requisites of leadership".[1] While in Missouri, he married a war widow after a ten-day courtship.

In April 1862 Benton was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers and served with distinction at the Battles of Port Gibson, Jackson, where he was wounded, Champion Hill, Big Black River, and at the Siege of Vicksburg.

He then served in various district commands with the XIII Corps in Texas and Louisiana throughout 1864, until he commanded a division in the campaign against Mobile, Alabama in early 1865. He was brevetted a major general in March 1865 and mustered out of the army in May.

Last years[]

After the war, Benton was appointed the Collector of Revenue for the City of New Orleans. However, he died of yellow fever on March 14, 1867. He was interred at Greenwood Cemetery. Benton was a Freemason and member of Webb Lodge No. 24 at Richmond Indiana and King Solomon Chapter No 4 Royal Arch Masons in New Orleans.

See also[]

32x28px United States Army portal
32x28px American Civil War portal


  • Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders. Baton Rogue, Louisiana: LSU Press. 1964. ISBN 0807108227.
  • Welsh, Jack D. Medical Histories of Union Generals. Columbus, Ohio: Kent State University Press. 1996. ISBN 0873388534.