Virginia Diaspora


Southern Bensons and Related Families: McCracken, Dickson, Scruggs, Clack, Foster, Davis, Youngblood, Patterson, Harwell, Hume, Fowler, and many more. Civil War Memoirs of Lt. Peru Hardy Benson, C.S.A. and Dunkle's 1869 List of "The Immortal Six Hundred Prisoners of War"

The genealogical portion of this new work begins with Robert Benson, born circa 1685, and Frances Prou, both of Virginia, who had seven children. About seven generations of Bensons (including the female lines) are covered. Approximately twenty pages are devoted to the allied families. A direct descendant of Robert and Frances Benson, Peru Hardy Benson was born in Elkton, Tenn., in 1829. He married Nancy Delina McCracken and, after her death, Mrs. Helen R. James. In 1862, Benson volunteered for service in the Civil War; after the fall of Vicksburg he was taken prisoner. He spent two years in (possibly as many as seven) Yankee prisons. "The Civil War memoirs of Peru Hardy Benson.... derive their importance from the fact that they lend one more voice to the testimony of that of Lt. Decimus et Ultimus Barziza, Lt. J.J. Dunkle, and Capt. J. Ogden Murray, all authors of books on their experiences in Union prisons." Benson wrote his book about twenty-five years after the above books. Where details are sketchy, the author has augmented the memoir "with other accounts on the subject and letters Benson received after the war from three of his former prison comrades." The ?Immortal Six Hundred? are those imprisoned Confederate officers who suffered deliberate starvation and other abuse from their Union guards in retaliation for northern prisoners suffering in Andersonville Prison.

Guida M. Jackson-Laufer

1992, paper, 166 pp.

ISBN: 9781556136481