Berry Benson Chapter # 2584 was chartered with 24 members on April 26, 1995 in North Augusta. The chapter was named for North Augusta resident and War Between the States hero, Berry Greenwood Benson. The brave soldier who tunneled his way out of the infamous Elmira Prison in New York. The young man who gave up when he saw Robert E. Lee surrender to Grant at Appomattox, the brave soldier who went to North Carolina and fought with General Johnston and walked home when he saw those men surrendered too. To learn more about Berry Benson, the man, visit Berry Benson Outlines Web Site. We at the Berry Benson UDC chapter celebrate this young brave man who fought for what he believed was right and just. We celebrate our own ancestors who fought so bravely a just cause.
On February 9, 1843 in the quiet river town of Hamburg, South Carolina was born Berry Greenwood Benson. He was the first child of Abraham and Nancy Harmon Benson. He attended school in Augusta, Georgia and at the age of seventeen went to work for his father as an assistant bookkeeper. He joined a company of local Minute Men and on January 8, 1861, his company was mustered into service at Charleston, South Carolina. Berry served in the Confederate Army from the first shot at Fort Sumter to the last at Appomattox and beyond. His only absence when an invalid at home to recover from wounds or while being held in Yankee prisons for five months. First he served in Jackson's foot cavalry until his beloved general's death, and later in a battalion of Sharpshooters attached to General Maxcy Gregg's 1st South Carolina Volunteers. He was a non-commissioned officer, but several times was in command of his company.
During the war, Sgt. Benson recorded his memoirs in a journal. He spent a good portion of his life editing those memoirs. In 1962 his daughter in law, Susan Williams Benson, published his story entitled Berry Benson's Civil War Book: Memoirs of a Confederate Scout and Sharpshooter. His book is available at the Augusta Museum of History or from amazon.com for your convenience. You will enjoy the book for it's first hand accounts of the battles of the war and insight into the mind of a foot soldier.
After the war, Berry taught school for awhile, later becoming a public accountant. On February 6, 1868, he married Jeannie Oliver of Augusta, daughter of Major Stephen Oliver, CSA. To them were born two sons and four daughters.
Every year on Confederate Memorial Day, Berry led the old soldiers down Broad Street in Augusta. When a Confederate monument was erected in Augusta, Berry Benson's figure was chosen to go on the top. The unusual Confederate monument is one of the few places you will see a foot soldier above four generals. The monument overlooks Broad Street in Augusta, Georgia.
Berry passed away on January 1, 1923 at his home on Georgia Avenue. Quietly he lays in his family plot at Sunset Hill Cemetery in North Augusta.