Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Connecticut's Civil War: A Profile of Benjamin Wilcox, Company B, 14th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry


                I use soldiers from the local infantry company, the 14th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Company B, as examples when I teach Civil War genealogy. Formed in Middletown in 1862, these men saw some of the most brutal battles of the war. They’re useful teaching tools since they tend to show up not only on National Archives manuscripts but also in local records. For Civil War buffs, they’re still considered local heroes.
                Benjamin C. Wilcox was one of these men. Likely born in Berlin to a Middletown family, he was raised on a farm. He enlisted in the 14th Connecticut in August 1862. Wounded at Antietam, he went through the military medical system before being discharged in January 1863. Benjamin married Clara Birge and had two children, Arthur B. and Anne E. Benjamin died in 1910 at age 70. He was buried in Middletown.
                As a farmer and a short-term soldier, Benjamin did not leave a large paper trail. However, using the census, Find A Grave.com, Civil War records available on Fold3.com, and a surprise find on an auction site, one can start to piece together his Civil War story. All we need is his National Archives pension file to complete the tale!



Sources: 
1850 U.S. census, Hartford County, Connecticut, population schedule, Berlin, page 248 (stamped), dwelling 192, family 215, Benjamin C Wilcox; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 8 February 2012); citing NARA microfilm M432, roll 40.
1860 U.S. census, Middlesex County, Connecticut, population schedule, Middletown, page 43 (penned), dwelling 331, family 370, Benjamin C. Wilcox; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 8 February 2012); citing NARA microfilm M653, roll 83.
1870 U.S. census, Middlesex County, Connecticut, population schedule, Middletown, page 4 (penned), dwelling 22, family 26, Benjamin C. Wilcox; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 8 February 2012); citing NARA microfilm M593, roll 108.
1880 U.S. census, Middlesex County, Connecticut, population schedule, Middletown, enumeration district (ed) 64, page 33 (penned), dwelling 288, family 313, B.C. Wilcox; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 8 February 2012); citing FHL microfilm 1254102, image 94.
1900 U.S. census, New Haven County, Connecticut,  population schedule, Meriden, enumeration district (ED) 331, sheet 1 (penned), dwelling 8, family 9, Benj. C. Wilcox; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 8 February 2012); citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, roll 144.
“U.S. Civil War Soldiers, Records and Profiles,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 8 February 2012), entry for Benjamin C. Wilcox.
Find A Grave, digital images (http://www.findagrave.com: accessed 8 February 2012), photograph, gravestone for Benjamin C. Wilcox (1840-1910), Middletown, CT.
“Lot 237: A Connecticut Soldier Reports on…,” Art Fact (http://www.artfact.com: accessed 8 February 2012.)

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