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Benjamin Stone Roberts
November 18, 1810(1810-11-18) ‚Äď January 29, 1875 (aged 64)
Benjamin S. Roberts - Brady-Handy.jpg
Benjamin Stone Roberts
Place of birth Manchester, Vermont
Place of death Washington, D.C.
Place of burial Dellwood Cemetery,
Manchester, Vermont
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1835-1839, 1846-70
Rank Brevet Brigadier General
Battles/wars Mexican-American War
*Cerro Gordo
American Civil War
*Cedar Mountain
*Rappahannock Station
*Sulphur Springs
*Second Battle of Bull Run
Indian Wars

Benjamin Stone Roberts (November 18, 1810 ‚Äď January 29, 1875) was an American lawyer, civil engineer, and a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.


Early life

Roberts was born in Manchester, Vermont. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1835, ranking near the bottom of his class. He resigned four years later to pursue a career in civil engineering on railroads in New York and overseas in Russia. After his return from Russia, he settled in Iowa, where he practiced law.

Mexican-American War

In 1846, at the beginning of the Mexican-American War, Roberts was reappointed a first lieutenant, Mounted Rifles, in the Regular Army. He was promoted to captain in 1847, and saw action at Vracruz, Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Churubusco, and the capture of Mexico City, Matamoras and the Galajara pass. At Churubusco, he was brevetted major for leading an advance party of stormers. He received a further brevet, to lieutenant colonel in 1847 for gallantry during the war. After the close of hostilities, he served on the frontier and in Washington, D.C.

Civil War

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Roberts was Major of the 3rd U.S. Cavalry. He served in Arizona and New Mexico in 1861 and 1862. He was promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteers on June 16, 1862, and assigned to General John Pope's staff as Inspector General and Chief of Cavalry. He saw action at Cedar Mountain, Rappahannock Station, Sulphur Springs and the Second Battle of Bull Run. After Bull Run, he was manipulated by Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton to prefer charges of disloyalty, disobedience and misconduct against Fitz John Porter, and testified at the subsequent court-martial, which ruined Porter's career.

After the court-martial, Roberts was banished to Minnesota, where he chased Indians, until being recalled to Washington in February 1863. He commanded a division in VIII Corps later in 1863, another in XIX Corps in 1864, and then served in the District of West Tennessee in 1865. He was brevetted Brigadier General, United States Army, for his actions at Cedar Mountain, and major general, Volunteers, for Second Bull Run.

Later life

Roberts continued to serve in the regular army, as lieutenant colonel of the 3rd Cavalry, until 1868, then taught military science at Yale University until his retirement on December 15, 1870. He died in Washington, D.C., and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington. He was later reinterred to Dellwood cemetery, Manchester, Vermont.

See also


  • Boatner, Mark M., The Civil War Dictionary, New York:Vintage Books, 1988, 1991 edition, pp. 701‚Äď702.
  • Peck, Theodore S., compiler, Revised Roster of Vermont Volunteers and lists of Vermonters Who Served in the Army and Navy of the United States During the War of the Rebellion, 1861-66, Montpelier, VT.: Press of the Watchman Publishing Co., 1892, p. 680.
  • Sifakis, Stewart, Who Was Who in the Union, New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1988, pp. 337‚Äď338.
  • Warner, Ezra J., Generals In Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1964, 1992, pp. 405‚Äď406.

External links



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