Monday, May 19, 2008

A Civil War Soldier: Pvt. Joseph Uzza Benson ROBBINS (1847 - 1931)

How Related: Brother of my 3rd-great-grandfather, Charles H. ROBBINS

Born: 2 June 1847 in Liberty Twp., McKean Co., Michigan

Parents: Joseph Josiah ROBBINS (1820 - 1905) and Marinda ROBBINS (1827 - 1912)

Siblings: Charles H. (1844 - 1934); Emeline C. (1847 - 1917); Benjamin Leander "Lee" (1850 - 1929); Evaline L. (1853 - bet. 1870/1880); Benjamin Franklin "Frank" (1858 - 1916); and William Wallace ROBBINS (1867 - 1882)

Married: Margaret Jane (HERIN) WADE (1855 - 1932) on 2 September 1888 in Hesperia, Newaygo Co., Michigan

Step-Children: Bert E. (b. c. 1876) and Harriet WADE (1878 - 1965)

Source: Civil War Pension Index Card of Benson Robbins. Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900. National Archives and Records Administration. Publication T289. Digital image purchased at Footnote [].

Enlisted: 5 September 1864 in Co. C, 211th Pennsylvania Infantry; private

Side Served: Union

Mustered Out: 2 June 1865 at Alexandria, Virginia


Biography or Information of Interest: In the 1860 Federal Census in Liberty Twp., McKean Co., Pennsylvania, Benson's name appears as "Uzza B. Robbins." Uzza Robbins was Benson's maternal grandfather, who was hanged in 1850 in Smethport, McKean Co., Pennsylvania for his conviction of murder of his second wife and attempted murder of his adult step-daughter. It was also discovered he had murdered his adult son, as well. This is the only time Benson's name is listed as Uzza, so my theory is that he or his family changed his name to Joseph Benson Robbins, so as to no longer honor the grandfather who had been convicted of murder.

Benson was one of two brothers as well as a son of a man who served in Pennsylvania Infantries during the Civil War.

My grandfather told me that Benson had lived in a soldiers' home in Washington and had been buried in Arlington. Naturally, I thought he lived in a soldiers' home in Washington, DC and had been buried in Arlington National Cemetery. In fact, Grandpa may have thought so, himself. About 10 years ago, as I was researching this family, I discovered that Benson and his brother Lee had migrated west to Washington State. Lee actually lived for a time in Stevens County in Northeast Washington, the same county where my parents now reside, and died there as well. Benson and his wife Margaret lived in the Washington Veterans Home in Retsil, Kitsap Co., Washington on the west side of the state. Both Benson and Lee are buried in Arlington Cemetery, Arlington, Snohomish Co., Washington.

Died: 11 April 1931 in Mount Vernon, Skagit Co., Washington

Source: Headstone of Joseph Benson Robbins, Harwood (Arlington) Cemetery, Arlington, Snohomish Co., Washington. Digital photograph taken at the request of Miriam Robbins Midkiff by Lisa Morris, RAOGK volunteer. 2005.

Buried: 14 April 1931 in Plot 139, Grave 7 at Harwood (Arlington) Cemetery, Arlington, Snohomish Co., Washington

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