Thursday, November 18, 2010

Near The Bottom Of His Class

Union General Benjamin Stone Roberts a lawyer and civil engineer was born November 18th 1810.

Benjamin Stone Roberts was born in Manchester, Bennington, Vermont November 18th 1810. He graduated in 1835 from the United States Military Academy at West Point, near the bottom of his class, 53rd out of 56. After four years in the military, Roberts resigned and took up a career as a civil engineer for the railroads. He even traveled to Russia with this work, helping build a railroad from St Petersburg to Moscow. Returning to the United States Roberts settled in Iowa where be became a lawyer. When the Mexican - American War started Robert rejoined the military with a rank of First Lieutenant. He saw action at most of the major battles and was a brevet Lieutenant Colonel by the end of hostilities.

At the beginning of the Civil War Roberts was serving with the 3rd United States Cavalry as a Major in Arizona and New Mexico. He served under General Edward Canby at the Battle of Valverde. In June 1862 Roberts was promoted to Brigadier General and assigned as Inspector General and Chief of the Cavalry on General John Pope’s staff. He precipitated in the Battles of Cedar Mountain, Rappahannock Station and Second Bull Run. He was sent shortly after to Minnesota to deal with Indian issue before being recalled to Washington DC in February 1863.

After the Civil War ended Robert stayed in the United States Army with the 3rd Cavalry as a Lieutenant Colonel. Beginning in 1868 he taught military science at Yale University. He died in Washington DC January 29th 1875. His remains were first placed in Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, but latter moved to Dellwood Cemetery in Manchester Vermont.

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