Benjamin Franklin Benton, editor and soldier, was born on April 29, 1827, in Carrol County, Tennessee, the son of Mary (Hunter) and Samuel L. Benton, Sr. At about the age of eleven he moved to Texas with his parents and settled in Sabine County. After his father's term as a representative in the Fourth Congress (1839–40), the Bentons moved into neighboring San Augustine County. Benton received his degree at the Wesleyan Male and Female College on July 31, 1845. In 1850 he and B. F. Price became copublishers of the Redland Herald, and in 1857 and 1858 they published the East Texian. Benton received his Masonic degrees in the Redland Lodge No. 3, where he served as junior warden in 1854 and worshipful master in 1855. He was a three-term elected district clerk of San Augustine from 1854 until 1861. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, he organized a company of 114 volunteers and became captain of Company K, First Texas Infantry, in Hood's Brigade, known as the Texas Invincibles and attached to the Army of Northern Virginia. The war took a heavy toll on Company K; in addition to battle casualties, many men, including Benton's brother Jesse, died of measles or chicken pox. On June 27, 1862, Captain Benton fell at the head of his command in the battle of Gaines' Mill, in defense of Richmond, at Cold Harbor, Virginia. He was buried on the battlefield and reinterred on January 18, 1867, with Masonic honors, in the San Augustine City Cemetery near the graves of his parents and brother.
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George L. Crocket, Two Centuries in East Texas (Dallas: Southwest, 1932; facsimile reprod., 1962). O. T. Hanks, History of Captain B. F. Benton's Company, Hood's Texas Brigade, 1861–1865 (Austin: Morrison, 1984).
Editors and Reporters
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
McXie Whitton Martin,
“Benton, Benjamin Franklin,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 29, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
November 30, 2018