Category Archives: Samuel Nicoll Benjamin

Lieutenant Benjamin’s grave

His grave marker in Putnam County, New York. Or is it? There’s another one, here, and some confusion over the spelling of his middle name. Advertisements

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Friedrich Engels on rifled weapons

Benjamin’s Parrott guns were rifled for greater range and accuracy. So were the 3-inch bronze and steel cannon of Parker’s “Boy Battery.” Both types of cannon were new, and also not so easy to make, according to these 1860 newspaper … Continue reading

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General Order 100: Code of Conduct

In the novel, some Confederate prisoners are killed in the Northwest Bastion. The killings are supported in the historical record by one cryptic sentence in Lieutenant Benjamin’s after-action report to General Burnside. The lieutenant, in describing the zeal of the … Continue reading

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Reenactor anachronisms

The rifled parrott gun in this mock Northwest Bastion of a pretend Fort Sanders (miles away from where the original sat) is just one of the anachronisms the reenactor community puts up with. The only big guns in the bastion … Continue reading

Posted in "Knoxville 1863", First Rhode Island Light Artillery, Fort Sanders, Reenactors, Samuel Nicoll Benjamin | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The dancing master in the bomb-proof

Gen. Edward Ferraro, a New York dancing master turned politically-appointed Union general, nominally commanded the troops who defended Fort Sanders. In fact, Ferraro didn’t lead anyone but spent the battle for the fort in his bomb-proof shelter along the north … Continue reading

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Agincourt, 1415

In the novel, I had the outcome of the attack on Fort Sanders remind its commander, Lieutenant Samuel Nicoll Benjamin, of the Battle of Agincourt, 448 years before—where the outnumbered English under King Henry V defeated the numerically-superior French. If … Continue reading

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Hot water freezes faster than cold

Some readers—including my good editor who scoured out my misspellings and grammar errors—stumbled over the notion that Union troops would pour hot water down the exterior slope of the fort’s northwest bastion to make overnight ice to slow if not … Continue reading

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Those Parrott guns

Lieutenant Benjamin’s 20-pounder Parrotts were the workhorses of the Union field artillery. But they were puny compared to the fortress and naval guns that Robert P. Parrott “signed” on their breech bands. “These monsters, largest of rifles to see active … Continue reading

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