Friday, February 06, 2009

Benjamin C. Henderson

Benjamin C. Henderson, alias “Henry B. Clark,” was born in 1844 in Cuba, Allegany County, New York, the stepson of John B. Gibb and son of Mary B. Gibb.

Sometime before 1862 Benjamin’s family left New York and moved west, eventually settling in western Michigan. In 1860 there was a farmer named John B. Gibb living alone and working in Weaversville, Fremont Township, Newaygo County, Michigan.

In March of 1862 Benjamin, then underage, appealed to his mother and stepfather to allow him to enlist in the Third Michigan infantry. His parents wrote to Third Michigan recruiting officer, Wallace W. Dickinson of Company K -- then in Newaygo County recruiting for the regiment -- on March 22, 1862, “We hereby give you permission to enlist Benjamin C. Henderson being a minor, provided Joseph Whitehead goes [with him] and on no other condition. If he goes we request you to keep him in your company if possible and write for him occasionally and send his wages to Mary B. Gibb Weaversville.” However, Whitehead did not join the Third Michigan, but Benjamin did.

He stood 5’7” with blue eyes, sandy hair and a sandy complexion, and was an 18-year-old farmer probably living with his family in Fremont, Newaygo County, when he enlisted in Company K on March 12, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. He was absent sick from September 16, 1863 until March 31, 1864, when, pursuant to G.O. No. 46, War Department, he was transferred to the Veterans’ Reserve Corps. He reportedly served with Company I, Eighteenth VRC, Sixteenth Company, Second Battalion, VRC and One Hundred Twenty-seventh’s cavalry, First Battalion, VRC.

There is no further record.

In fact, Benjamin apparently reentered the service under the name of “Henry B. Clark,” in Company D, Tenth Pennsylvania infantry.

In any case, he survived the war and was living in Pennsylvania in 1904 when he applied for a pension (no. 1321320) for service in both Michigan and Pennsylvania regiments, but the certificate was never granted.

No comments: