Monday, April 22, 2013

15486. Benjamin O. WItherell


A million people were killed, wounded, or died of disease in the Civil War. Two men died in an ambush on the Union Army transport Superior on April 22, 1864. One was from Kingston.

One man, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Gregory, commanding USS St Clair, described the day like this: "On my way up to this place I stopped just above the Raft. The Superior loaded with troops gave the alarm of the approach of rebels. I fired a few shrapnel and we lay quiet the night of the 21st. The transport left me this morning and when about 30 miles below this place by water was fired into by a guerrilla band, 2 men killed and 16 wounded. The rebels had one fieldpiece. The boat ran past them and then waited for me. I threw a few more shrapnel into a thicket where the rebels had come out to see the troops and what they had done. The troops burned some property from behind which they had been fired upon. We are here all safe and I am happy to say that my officers and men have done admirably..."

But the damage was done. Sixteen year-old Benjamin was dead, "Killed on his passage from New Orleans to Alexandria on the Transport Superior, April 22, 1864, Aged 16 yrs, 9 mos, 6 days."

A million casulaties, a million stories.

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