Judia and Ralph Terry - Family and Neighbors of Coleman County, Texas

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  • ID: I2077
  • Name: Benjamin Grubb Humphreys
  • Prefix: Brig. Gen.
  • Sex: M
  • Note:
    1850 Claiborne County, Mississippi census.

    1870 Warren County, Mississippi census.

    1880 Claiborne County, Mississippi census.

    "Benjamin Grubbs Humphreys was a Brig. General in the Confederate Army and Governor of Mississippi, 1865 - 1868." ("Rockingham Post-Dispatch," Richmond County, North Carolina, 30 November 1949.)

    "Benjamin Grubb Humphreys was born August 26, 1808 on his family's plantation, "Hermitage," in Claiborne County, Mississippi. He attended school in Kentucky and New Jersey, until his appointment to West Point in 1825. This class was filled with other notables such as Robert E. Lee, and Joseph E. Johnston. Although a good student, Humphreys' involvement in a Christmas Riot got him expelled along with 38 other cadets. Humphreys returned to Mississippi to oversee the family plantation, where he began the study of law. He was a member of the Whig party, and served in both houses of the State Legislature. He opposed secession, but nevertheless raised a company, the Sunflower Guards which later became Company I of the 21st Regiment of Mississippi Infantry. Humphreys was elected Colonel of the regiment upon its organization in Virginia from various independent companies which had arrived on their own. Colonel Humphreys and the regiment first saw action at Yorktown May 3, 1862, and were thereafter engaged in every campaign in which the Army of Northern Virginia participated. On July 2, 1863, General William Barksdale, commander of the First Mississippi Brigade of which the 21st Regiment was a part, was killed in the gallant charge which broke the Union line at the Peach Orchard at Gettysburg. Colonel Humphreys, the only field officer of the brigade who had not been killed or wounded, assumed command of the Brigade. Humphreys was appointed Brigadier General to rank from August 12, 1863. General Humphreys continued to lead his men until the battle of Berryville in September 1864, where he was severely wounded and disabled for the remainder of the war." (from the website of Sons of Confederate Veterans, Brig. Gen. Benjamin G. Humphreys Camp #1625, Indianola, Mississippi, http://humphreys1625.homestead.com/>, 2002.)

    "Humphreys County was named for Benjamin Grubb Humphreys (1808-1882), a native of Claiborne County, was educated in New Jersey and entered West Point in the same class with Robert E. Lee in 1825, but he was dismissed from the academy for participating in a Christmas frolic that turned into a riot. He returned to Mississippi, represented Claiborne County in the State Legislature from 1839 to 1844, and moved to Sunflower County, where he became a successful planter, in 1846. Commissioned a captain in the Confederate army in 1861, he was promoted to brigadier general after the battle of Gettysburg in 1863. On October 2, 1865, he was elected Governor of Mississippi under President Johnson's Reconstruction policy, and he was re-elected in 1868; but, with the institution of Congressional Reconstruction, he was removed from office by federal troops on June 15, 1868. He was engaged in the insurance business in Jackson until 1877, when he retired to his plantation in Sunflower County, where he died in December of 1882. Benjamin G. Humphreys was the grandson of Major David Smith, for whom Smith County was named." (from a website of Humphreys County, Mississippi, 2002.)

    "A descendant of early Reconstruction Governor Benjamin Grubb Humphreys (1808-82) has donated to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History the governor's handwritten account of his views about the Civil War. Humphreys had served as a brigadier general in the Civil War. Born at a plantation home known as the Hermitage in Claiborne County, Mississippi, Humphreys was a member of the Mississippi legislature and served as governor from 1865 to 1868. He was removed from office by federal military forces under the command of General Irwin McDowell. Prior to the Civil War, Humphreys had moved to the Delta and established a plantation at what is now Itta Bena, Mississippi. Humphreys County, Mississippi, is named for him. The text, which apparently has never been published in its entirety, was donated by Douglas More of Greenwich, Connecticut, Humphreys's great-great-grandson. The manuscript comprises twenty-seven chapters averaging about thirty legal-size handwritten pages each. The manuscript is missing two chapters and some individual pages. The manuscript was accompanied by the donation of a copy of an engraving of Governor Humphreys, and a copy of a letter dated July 5, 1861, from Humphreys to his son-in-law, Isaac Davis Stamps. Stamps, More's great-grandfather and a nephew of Jefferson Davis, was killed at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. On May 18, 1861, Humphreys organized a company known as the Sunflower Guards that became part of the 21st Mississippi Infantry Regiment. Humphreys was elected colonel of the regiment, which saw action throughout the war in Virginia and Tennessee. Humphreys became commander of the brigade that included the 13th, 17th, 18th, and 21st Mississippi Infantry Regiments and was promoted to brigadier-general following the death of General William Barksdale at Gettysburg." (Mississippi Department of Archives and History Benjamin Grubb Humphreys's Civil War Manuscript Donated to Department.)

    "Brigadier-General Benjamin G. Humphreys was born in Mississippi in 1808, in Claiborne county, where he grew up to manhood. When old enough he entered the United States military academy at West Point, but did not complete his course there. He became a planter in Sunflower county, and this was his occupation when the war began. He immediately raised a fine company which was assigned to the Twenty-first Mississippi. His commission as captain of this company was dated May 18, 1861. On the 11th of September, 1861, he was commissioned colonel of the Twenty-first. He led this regiment at Seven Pines and in the Seven Days' battles. McLaws' division, to which his regiment was attached, was left below Richmond to watch the movements of the enemy when Lee started on his march against Pope, and hence did not rejoin the main army until after Second Manassas. The Twenty-first Mississippi belonged to Barksdale's brigade of this division. This whole command was distinguished throughout the Maryland campaign, and in the following December at Fredericksburg gained immortal renown by its repeated repulses of a whole Federal corps in the attempt to cross the Rappahannock before Lee was ready to receive them. Again, at Chancellorsville, Humphreys displayed his fitness for the command of brave men. On the first day at Gettysburg the gallant Barksdale fell mortally wounded, and Humphreys succeeded to the command of the now famous brigade, consisting of the Thirteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Twenty-first regiments of Mississippi infantry. From September, 1863, until the following spring, the brigade served under Longstreet in Georgia and in Tennessee, paralleling at Chickamauga and Knoxville its heroic deeds in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Through all the unequaled hardships and dangers of the Overland campaign and of that around Richmond and Petersburg until the final end of all at Appomattox, Humphreys and his gallant men remained faithful, and, when the final catastrophe came, returned to their homes with the consciousness of duty well performed. When President Andrew Johnson was carrying out his reconstruction plan, General Humphreys was elected governor of Mississippi and was inaugurated on the 16th day of October, 1865. In his inaugural address he said: "It has been reported in some quarters that our people are insincere and the spirit of revolt is rampant among us. But if an unflinching fidelity in war gives evidence of a reliable fidelity in peace; if the unvarying professions that spring from private and public sources furnish any evidence of truth, it is sufficiently demonstrated that the people of the South, who so long and against such terrible odds maintained the mightiest conflict of modern ages, may be safely trusted when they profess more than a willingness to return to their allegiance." The radical Congress, however, overthrew the government established in Mississippi under the President's plan, and established in its stead the carpet-bag government which oppressed the people of Mississippi until its overthrow by the people in the election of 1875. After his removal from the gubernatorial chair General Humphreys returned to planting and retired from public life. He died in Le Flore county, Miss., on the 22nd day of December, 1882. Gen. Robert Lowry says of him, in his "History of Mississippi: "His name will long remain the synonym for knightly honor, for fidelity to every trust, for loyalty to every duty." " (Source: Confederate Military History, vol. IX, p. 259.)
  • Birth: 26 AUG 1808 in Port Gibson, Claiborne County, Mississippi
  • Death: 20 DEC 1882 in Leflore County, Mississippi
  • Burial: Greenwood Cemetery, Port Gibson, Claiborne County, Mississippi

    Father: George Wilson Humphreys b: 23 MAR 1771 in Laurens County, South Carolina
    Mother: Sarah Smith b: 19 JAN 1776 in Anson County, North Carolina

    Marriage 1 Mildred Hickman Maury b: ABT 1823 in Tennessee
    • Married:
    1. Has No Children Julian Maury Humphreys b: 18 OCT 1840 in Claiborne County, Mississippi
    2. Has No Children Sarah Smith Humphreys b: 10 FEB 1843 in Claiborne County, Mississippi
    3. Has No Children James Maury Humphreys b: 28 OCT 1845 in Claiborne County, Mississippi
    4. Has No Children Benjamin Grubb Humphreys b: 15 JAN 1848 in Claiborne County, Mississippi
    5. Has Children John Barnes Humphreys b: 15 AUG 1850 in Claiborne County, Mississippi
    6. Has No Children Lucinda Smith Humphreys b: 17 AUG 1853 in Claiborne County, Mississippi
    7. Has No Children Elizabeth Fontaine Humphreys b: 25 JUN 1856 in Claiborne County, Mississippi
    8. Has No Children Ralph Humphreys b: 24 JAN 1859 in Itta Bena, Leflore County, Mississippi
    9. Has Children David Smith Humphreys b: 25 SEP 1860 in Claiborne County, Mississippi
    10. Has Children Benjamin Grubb Humphreys b: 17 AUG 1865 in Claiborne County, Mississippi
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