Benjamin F. Birdwell was the third child born, of eleven, to John Harvey and Martha (Chaffin) Birdwell. Born in to a poor farming family in Jackson County, Tennessee on October 6, 1841. He spent almost his whole life in Jackson County, except for the seven or so years he lived in Missouri as a child.
Benjamin proudly volunteered into the 28th TN Infantry Regiment under Captain U.T. Brown in September 1861. He took part in the battles of Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Perrysville, Vicksburg, Chickamauga, Atlanta and Franklin until he was captured and held at Camp Chase Prison in Columbus, Ohio being released once the war ended. According to his Civil War records, Ben suffered from a “Valmus Sclopetucum” which is an old medical term for gun shot wound. You can see all of Benjamin’s civil war records by following this link.
It is a known fact that Benjamin married and had a child with Ms. Aletha Billingsley, daughter of Thomas Billingsley also of Jackson County. What has not been proven is the gender of Benjamin’s first child, some say he had a son named JoAb but I seem to think that he had a daughter named Mary. Where things get a little sketchy is why Benjamin’s first wife died and what happened to the child. I plan on writing more on this in the future.
After the death of Aletha, Benjamin married a Ms. Adalissa Wheeler in March of 1865. Benjamin and Adalissa together had five children: Bama, Leatha, Linnie, Wheeler and Thomas. He made his life as a farmer. His property was located at the modern day intersection of Flynn’s Creek Rd and Haney Circle in Jackson County. He served as a clerk for the city of Gainesboro as well as being a member of the S.S. Stanton Bivouac. You can read more about the Battle of Franklin as well as other battles here.
Benjamin died on March 19, 1898 and is buried between both of his wives in the John L. Billingsley Cemetery in Jackson County, TN.