Thomas Benton, Sr. (1840 - 1877)

My 3x great grandfather, Thomas Benton, Sr., was born around 1840 in Polk County, Missouri. His parents are unknown at this time. Thomas was a former slave who eventually served as a United States Colored Troop (USCT) in the Civil War. Thomas enlisted at Benton Barracks in Lebanon, Missouri on December 21, 1863 at the age of 23. During his medical examination, he provided the aforementioned facts and also stated that he was formerly the slave of a man named “Henry McCabe” who the Union identified as a “loyal.”   

Thomas served for 3 years during which time he was a member of United Stated Colored (USC) Infantry, Regiment 67, Company E where he was promoted to Corporal on April 1, 1865.  His regiment later consolidated with U.S.C. Infantry Regiment 65 during which time Thomas transferred to said regiment on August 15, 1865. Thomas mustered out of the military on January 8, 1867.

Thomas had garrison duty in Morganza, Port Hudson, Bayou Sara and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is during these times, I believe he met my 3x great grandmother.

On April 21, 1870, Thomas married Artimease Wederstrandt, also a former slave at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The wedding was officiated by the Rev. Isaac Palmer.

To this union, four children were born:

  1. Edward Benton (1872 – 1946)
  2. Charles Benton (1873 – ????)
  3. Thomas Benton, Jr. (1874 – 1947)
  4. Nellie Benton (1876 – 1956)

Unfortunately, Thomas would die of “consumption” (tuberculosis) on December 23, 1877.


  1. Thomas Benton’s Colored Volunteer Descriptive List;; accessed on 1 Jul 2016
  2. Thomas Benton’s, Muster Roll, USC Regiment 67, Co. E;; accessed on 1 Jul 2016
  3. Thomas Benton’s Muster Roll, USC Regiment 65, Co. D;; accessed on 1 Jul 2016
  4. “Marriage License for Thomas Benton and Artimease Weatherstrand,” “Louisiana Marriages, 1718-1925,”  accessed June 2013 
  5. Artimease Wederstrandt Benton, “United States Civil War Widow’s Pension File,” (NARA); accessed 6 Jul 2013
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