Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My 5th Great Grand Uncle, Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin Overman, Sr.

Benjamin Franklin Overman

Benjamin Franklin Overman, Sr. was born in Pasquotank County, NC on November 22, 1797.  Yep, you read that right, 1797.   Prior to the war he and his wife had lived in Guilford County NC, where Benjamin owned and operated a carriage manufacturing business.   Sometime in the late 1830's he relocated to the territory of Florida (Florida wouldn't become a state until 1845).  There he became one of the partners in the Forsyth & Simpson Lumber Company in Bagdad, Santa Rosa County. 

He was 63 years old when he enlisted as a Private in the Pensacola Guards, which would later become Company K, 1st Florida Infantry, on April 5, 1861.   He was soon promoted to 3rd Lieutenant upon re-enlistment in early 1862.  In mid 1863 he was transferred to Company G, 1st Florida Infantry.  Benjamin must have shown great promise as a leader.   In October of 1864 he was elected 2nd Lieutenant.  Unfortunately the 1st Florida Infantry Regiment would be decimated casualties and disease, it would later be consolodated with the 3rd Florida infantry to form a Battalion.  They were attached to the Army of Tennessee throughout the entire Civil War. 

Benjamin would only enjoy his new rank for about 2 months.  In early December 1864 at the 3rd Battle of Murfreesboro, he was captured and taken prisoner.  He was originally sent to to a Military Prison in Louisville, KY.  He would later be transferred to the infamous Fort Delaware Prison on Pea Patch Island. 

Below shows where Benjamin was captured:

The document below shows Benjamin's transfer to Fort Delaware

Benjamin Franklin Overman, Sr. was released from Fort Delaware on June 16, 1865 after pledging the Oath of Allegiance to the United States.  He was 67 years old.  

Benjamin's Oath of Allegiance

He would live an additional 22 years after the end of the Civil War.   Benjamin Franklin Overman, Sr. Died in Pensacola Florida on April 28, 1888.  He was 89 years old.  He and his wife Eliza are buried in St. Michael's Cemetery in Pensacola. 

Here's my relation to Benjamin:

Benjamin Franklin Overman (1797 - 1888)
is your 5th great grand uncle
Charles Overman (1745 - 1806)
Father of Benjamin Franklin
Mary Overman (1785 - 1866)
Daughter of Charles
Margaret White (1807 - 1840)
Daughter of Mary
Martha M White (1828 - 1898)
Daughter of Margaret
Joseph Thomas White (1860 - 1910)
Son of Martha M
Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie) White (1892 - 1985)
Daughter of Joseph Thomas
Ruth Adelaide Nowell Stokes (1918 - )
Daughter of Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie)
Selby E. Stokes Jr. (1946 - )
Son of Ruth Adelaide
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Selby E.

The 1st Florida Volunteer Infantry fought long and hard throughout the war and was in every major conflict in which the Confederate Army of Tennessee was engaged. Below is a list of engagements and which army they were in at that time.

Oct 9 Action on Santa Rosa Island. Florida, Army of Pensacola
Nov. 22-23 Siege of Fort Pickens, Florida
Jan. 1 Attach on Pensacola harbor and Fort Barrancus, Florida
Apr. 6-7 Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee, Army of the Mississippi
Apr. 29-May 30 Operations against the Union advance and siege of Corinth, Mississippi
May 30-June 12 Retreat to Booneville, Mississippi
Oct. 8 Battle at Perryville, Kentucky
Oct. 10-22 Retreat from Perryville to London, Kentucky
Dec. 26-30 Operations against the Union advance on Murfeesborough, Tennessee, Army of Tennessee
Dec. 31-Jan 3, 63 Consolidated with the 3rd Florida Volunteer Infantry (Dec 31)
Battle of Stones River, Murfeesborough, Tennessee
July 5-17 Campaign against Jackson, Mississippi
July 7 Skirmish near Baker's Creek, Mississippi
July 9 Skirmish near Jackson, Mississippi
July 10-16 Siege of Jackson, Mississippi
Sep. 19-21 Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia
Sep. 24-Nov. 23 Siege of Chattanooga, Tennessee
Nov 23-27 Campaign of Chattanooga, Tennessee and Ringgold Georgia
Nov. 24-25 Assault and capture of Missionary Ridge, Tennessee
Apr. 9 Consolidated with the 6th and 7th Florida Volunteer Infantry regiments
May 1- Sept 8 Atlanta Campaign
May 8-11 Operations against and on Rocks Face Ridge, Georgia
May 8-9 Combat at Buzzard's Roost Gap (Mill Creek), Georgia
May 14-15 Battle of Resaca, Georgia
May 18-19 Combat near Cassville, Georgia
May 25-June 5 Operations on the line of Pumkinvine Creek and battles about Dallas,
New Hope Church, and Alatoona, Georgia
May 25 Battle of New Hope Church, Georgia
June 10-July 2 Operations about Marietta and Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia
June 11-14 Combat about Pine Hill, Georgia
June 15-17 Combat about Lost Mountain, Georgia
June 17 Assault on Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia
July 5-17 Operations on the line of the Chattahoochee River, Georgia
July 19-20 Battle of Peach Tree Creek, Georgia
July 22 Battle of Atlanta, Georgia
July 23-Aug. 25 Siege of Atlanta, Georgia
Aug. 5-7 Combat at Utoy Creek, Georgia
Aug. 31-Sept. 1 Battle of Jonesborough, Georgia
Sept 2-5 Engagement at Lovejoy Station, Georgia
Sept. 29-Nov. 3 Hood's operations in northern Georgia and northern Alabama
Nov. 29 Engagement at Spring Hill, Tennessee
Nov. 31 Battle of Franklin, Tennessee
(Dec 5-7 Battle at Murfreesboro, Tennessee - Benjamin's capture , sent to Johnson's Island then transferred to Delaware Prison
Dec. 17-28 Retreat to the Tennessee River near Bridgeport, Alabama
Jan. 30-Apr. 26 Campaign of the Carolinas

Flag of the 1st Florida Battalion
The "Shiloh" citation as shown on the 1st Florida Battalion's flag, was a hard-won honor. The commander of the brigade in which the 1st Florida served reported, "The desperation with which the troops fought brings new luster to the arms of the state they representede." Located in the Confererate Museum , New Orleans, LA Note: The "Florida Star" is a six pointed Star. The star was used on several early-war Florida flags, and the Florida "Cherokee Rose" button. It was used as a hat insignia for Florida Soldiers, the larger version was used to pin up the side of a slouch hat. Most noted picture is of Lt. Lawrence M. Anderson, First Florida Infantry, Co A.

Source: John Holmes / Kissimmee River Depot/ P.O. Box 430178 / Kissimmee, FL 32743-0178

Below is an account from the Union army regarding their "comandeering" of local items including Benjamin Franklin Overman's home. 
"On the first day of the new year 1863, Colonel Dow informed General Banks, commanding Department of the Gulf, about his policy regarding the disposal of the contents of the homes abandoned by Confederate sympathizers: " I caused the furniture of these houses to be brought to Pensacola and distributed among the officers at their quarters and to the hospital". Dow explained that when he apprised General Butler, Bank's predecessor, of his policy, Butler had ordered that it be sold at auction but countermanded the order upon learning that he would be relinquishing command. Dow asked for clarification of the matter. If the furniture were not sold, he claimed, " it will be left on an evacuation of the place to anyone who chooses to take it, as the city is occupied almost exclusively by poor whites, who have come in from the surrounding country to avoid starvation and the conscription. Very few of the Pensacola people remain in the place." It was true that the wagon loads of confiscated furniture from the surrounding communities were, as Dow stated, divided among the hospital and the other officers to furnish their quarters. But the choicest articles, including four pianos, went to his own quarters, the Benjamin Overman home. One of the pianos was of "carved rosewood, reported to be worth $1,500."

Benjamin Franklin Overman's home was used as Col. Dow's Union Headquarters during the Union Occupation of Pensacola and it's surrounding areas.  It "accidentally" caught fire and burned down during the Union Army's burning of the Lumber Mill.  

From:  Pensacola During the Civil War - A Thorn in the side of the Confederacy - by George F. Pearce
University Press of Florida

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