Notes for Benjamin Harrison Wilson

A Wilson Family Tree

Notes for Benjamin Harrison Wilson

Author of the Ben H. Wilson letter. He was obviously named after his grandfather, Benjamin Harrison Reeves.

From "History of Saline County, Missouri", he was the captain of company F, 7th regiment, Missouri state militia (Union; pp. 278, 288, 350, 489). He was elected circuit clerk in 1866 (p. 359). In the Marriage Records of Saline County, there are lots of marriages performed or recorded by Ben H. Wilson in the period of 1868 to 1870.

Some additional information on his military service is available at the web site of the Missouri Secretary of State, which has old soldiers’ service cards online ( The card for Benj. H. Wilson shows that he enlisted 12 Feb 1862 at Marshall, mustered in on 17 Apr 1862 at Georgetown (Missouri), and mustered out on 22 Apr 1865. It also has a physical description of him (5' 11½'', dark hair, hazel eyes, dark complexion), gives his occupation as clerk, and says he was a native of Fayette, Howard Co., Mo.

The Web site of the Missouri Secretary of State also shows B. H. Wilson elected to the state house of representatives in 1864, with a note that he resigned (

I obtained much more information on Ben's service during the Civil War from some descendants of his. On the Vaughan Family Tree on (see there is a photo of a coat of arms made for him, which contains text summarizing all he did during the war. The text is not readable in the photo on the Vaughan site, but I was able to get additional information from Debbie and Mike Vaughan. The text follows, with some punctuation added/changed to make it more readable, plus a couple of spelling corrections.

Enlisted as a private, Missouri vols. in Fall of 1861 but not mustered. Entered service as private, Missouri Militia volunteers, Feby. 12, 1862.Appointed and commissioned Captain Co. “F” 7th Regiment Missouri State Militia Cavy. April 17, 1862. Regiment organized in central Missouri at Sedalia and Warrensburg and organization completed May 1, 1862. Duty at Georgetown till June. Moved to Syracuse Mo. and duty there till Aug. 15. Detached as provost marshal at Syracuse Mo. June to Aug. Action at Pink Hill Mo. June 11, Raytown June 28, Pleasant Hill July 11, Columbus July 23, Independence Aug. 11. March to the relief of Lexington Aug. 16–19. Battle of Lone Jack Aug. 16. March from Sedalia to relief of Springfield Mo. Aug. 20–27. Attached to Totten’s Command, S.W. Dist. of Mo. Dept. of Mo., to Oct. 1862. March to Crane Creek Sept. 21–22 and advance post duty there till Oct. 13. Action at McGain’s Ferry Sept. 23.Detached as judge advocate of a military commission Oct. 1862. — Re-joined regiment at Crane Creek. March to Cassville Oct. 13–14. Attached to 2-Brig. 3-Div. Army of the Frontier. Action at Old Fort Wayne Oct. 22, Fayetteville Oct. 24, Oxford Bend Oct. 27–28, Huntsville Oct. 28.Moved to Cross Hollows. Thence to Newtonia Nov. 3 and operations from that point against Livingston’s guerillas till Dec. 11. March to Pea Ridge Dec. 11–13 and duty there till Jany. 11, 1863. Campaign against Marmaduke. March to the relief of Springfield Jany. 11–12. Expedition towards Hartsville Jany. 13–18. Moved to Greenfield Mo. Jany. 20. Duty at Linden, Christian Co., and Newtonia till Aug. Action at White River April 17, Carthage May 16, Hartsville May 23, Mountain Store May 26, Carthage May 27–28. Transferred to Central Dist. of Missouri Aug. 1 and duty there operating against guerillas and bushwhackers till Oct. 1863. Campaign against Shelby Oct. 6–18, 1863. Action at Warsaw Oct. 8, Blackwater Oct. 12, Lamine crossing Oct. 12. Comdg. the advance. Marshall Oct. 12–13, Merrill’s crossing Oct. 13, Jonesboro Oct. 14, capture of Shelby’s train. Placed in charge of the prisoners captured by Gen’l. E. B. Brown. Detached as ordnance officer at Jefferson City Mo. under Gen’l. F. S. Callender Oct. 1863 to Sept. 1864. Price’s invasion of Missouri Sept. 29–Oct. 28. Assigned to duty on staff of Gen’l. Alfred Pleasanton Sept. and Oct. Action at Osage River Oct. 6, Morceau Bottom Oct. 7, Boonville Oct. 9–11, California Oct. 10., Boonville Oct. 12–13, Sedalia Oct. 15. Duty in ordnance dept. at Jefferson City Mo. till Apr. 1865. Mustered out at Warrensburg Mo. and discharged at St. Louis Mo. Apr. 22, 1865. Commissioned Colonel – Missouri Vol. Militia, but not mustered in because of close of war.

I also obtained from Debbie and Mike Vaughan a transcription of a letter about family history written by Ben. The transcription was not dated, but it indicated that the letter was written about 1895. This letter and some notes about it my me can be found at .

Bob Reeves had his name as William A. Wilson (I'm pretty sure he got the info from me, and just mistyped). has a database called Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, 1879-1903, which includes images of records from the National Archives. There is one for Benj H Wilson, which gives his death date as 11 May 1904. However, his headstone at Riverside Cemetery shows his death as 10 May 1904 (image on I have heard that the worn headstone was replaced by Harry Powell Wilson Jr. sometime in the 1980's or 1990's. Perhaps it was corrected at that time?

The name on his death certificate (obtained from Debbie and Mike Vaughan) is Benjamin Wilson. Cause of death was cerebral thrombosis. Died at the Denver City & County Hospital.

1850 census
Listed as Benjamin H. B. Wilson, age 14, born in Missouri. Attended school within the year. Living with his parents.

1860 census
Listed as Benjamin Wilson, age 24, born in Missouri. Occupation clerk. Living with his parents.

1870 census
Image 2 on (Marshall Twp., Saline Co., MO)
Listed as B.H. Willson, age 34, born in Missouri. Occupation, clerk of court. Value of real estate listed as $17000, value of personal estate listed as $3000. Household consisted of B.H., Olive A., William A., and Bernice Willson; Mary E. Willson [Ben's mother], Horace E. and Byrd L. Willson [Ben's brothers]; two apparent boarders, Jacob Vandike and Wm. Johnston, who look like they also worked for Ben in the court clerk's office; E. and Mary Gilmore (domestic servant and her baby); and Henry Bryd, a farm laborer (another boarder?).

1880 census
Image 37 on (District 66, Marshall, Saline Co., MO)
Listed as Ben H Wilson, age 44. Born in Missouri, father born in Virginia, mother born in Kentucky. Occupation, bank clerk. Household consisted of Ben H., Ollive A., Wm. A., Berenice, Maud, and Genevieve Wilson; Emily A. Powell, listed as a boarder [Olive's sister]; and Hannah Ashby (servant).

He is listed in the 1885 Colorado census in Denver, CO, along with wife Olive; children William, Maud, Genevieve, and Harry; and brother Byrd (B. L.). His occupation is listed as stock grower.

1900 census
Listed as Benjamin Wilson, divorced. Age 64, born in May 1836. Born in Missouri, father born in Virginia, mother born in Kentucky. Occupation, clerk in surveyor general [?]. Living with brother Leonard Wilson and his family.

Note: Some of the information in these pages is uncertain. Please let me know of errors or omissions using the email link above.    ...Mike Wilson

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