“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Spotsylvania in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Sergeant Benjamin Brown

Sergeant Benjamin Brown Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 21, 2015
1. Sergeant Benjamin Brown Marker
Inscription. The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of honor to Sergeant Benjamin Brown, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 11 May 1889, while serving with Company C, 24th U.S. Infantry, in action in Arizona Territory. Although shot in the abdomen, in a fight between a paymasterís escort and robbers, Sergeant Brown did not leave the field until again wounded through both arms.
Citation. President Benjamin Harrison, 19 February 1890

Born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, to Henry and Polly Brown, Benjamin Brown (~1858-1910) is the only Congressional Medal of Honor recipient in this countyís history. The medal is "the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.” (Medal of Honor Museum)

Although his formative years are unknown to us, he traveled to Pennsylvania where in his early 20s, he enlisted in the U.S. Army through its Harrisburg office and was assigned to one of four Buffalo soldier units for engagement in the Indian Wars.

He was only 26 years old during his second enlistment when in 1889 he was one of 12 soldiers from Fort Grant in Arizona attempting to ensure more than $28,000 in payroll funds reached
Sergeant Benjamin Brown Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 21, 2015
2. Sergeant Benjamin Brown Marker
fellow soldiers in nearby Fort Thomas. Ambushed on the trail, he and his fellow soldiers were in a two-hour open ground gun fight. The bandits escaped with the money. Nine of the alleged bandits were captured and put on trial. All were acquitted and the money was never recovered.

After an investigation, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Military Affairs concluded that the soldiers “displayed unusual courage and skill in defense of the Governmentís property.”

Sergeant Brown served seven (7) tours of duty - five of which he served with a bullet still lodged in his body. Disability forced his retirement in 1905, and he died September 5, 1910 in the U.S. Soldiersí and Airmenís Home in Washington, DC. He is buried in the adjacent cemetery, the first national one for U.S. veterans.

The African American Heritage Trail is supported in part by a Preserve America grant administered by the National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior. This product is based upon work assisted by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Erected 2015 by
Wilderness Elementary School Markers image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher
3. Wilderness Elementary School Markers
Spotsylvania African American Heritage Trail.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Buffalo Soldiers, and the Medal of Honor Recipients marker series.
Location. 38° 16.524′ N, 77° 37.514′ W. Marker is in Spotsylvania, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from Catharpin Road (County Route 612) 0.9 miles from Old Plank Road (County Route 610), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Located at the entrance to Wilderness Elementary School. Marker is at or near this postal address: 11600 Catharpin Rd, Spotsylvania VA 22553, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. U. S. Colored Troops in Spotsylvania (here, next to this marker); The Wilderness and the Overland Campaign (here, next to this marker); 23rd USCT At the Alrich Farm (approx. half a mile away); Jackson on the Move (approx. 1.1 miles away); Matthew Fontaine Maury (approx. 1.1 miles away); Maury House Trail (approx. 1.1 miles away); Ordeal of the Wellfords (approx. 1.2 miles away); Rearguard Action (approx. 1.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Spotsylvania.
Also see . . .  Spotsylvania African American Heritage Trail. (Submitted on June 22, 2015.)
Categories. African AmericansWars, US Indian
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 148 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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