Guide to the Benjamin Benner Diary, RG 326

Listed by: Paul Martin
Date: January 2001

Date Span:1861-1864

Size of Collection:1 item

Biographical Sketch: Benner served with Co. G, 29th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment during the Civil War.

Scope / Content: Memoir of Bennerís Civil War service, plus a photograph of Mr. and Mrs. Benner in old age (click here for image). See below for summary of memoir.


Bennerís diary is actually a narrative hand-written summary of his military service form May 14, 1861.It does not consist of daily or other periodic entries, and this account is not dated. Very likely it was written long after the war. The inside cover and first page are quite browned, compared to the rest of the text, which indicates it was displayed that way for a long period, inserted into the diary is a photograph of Benner and his wife during old age.

In 1861, he describes much marching in Virginia without being in actual combat. His unit went into winter quarters near Frederick City through February 1862.His unit was involved in Gen. Jacksonís valley campaigns that spring. On May 23, 1862 Gen. Ewellís division captured 58 soldiers including Benner. He described harsh treatment as a prisoner with many dying of starvation through September 13, 1862 when they were notified of parole. On November 8 the surviving soldiers after receiving food, clothing and rest were ordered to rejoin their regiment, which occurred on December 10.He describes much marching and counter-marching through the early months of 1863.His unit was in the Battle of Chancellorsville, and much maneuvering which led them to the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-4, 1863.After many changes of location, his unit ended up at the Battles for Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge in November 1863.Through April 1864 his unit went through local duty in vicinity of Chattanooga from May 1864.His unit saw much action approaching Atlanta during May-June 1864.He and other veterans who had not reenlisted were allowed to begin preparation to go home for mustering out on July 1, 1864.He describes a long journey, which ended on July 22, 1864, being mustered out from military service at Philadelphia.

Although a summary format, the 56 pages contain a wealth of information. He inserts dates to keep the chronological context clear. Changes in commanders are noted, as well as organizational changes.

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