Civil War & Stephens Co., OK (13)

Berry Ben White (1818-1902)

B.B. White is one of the older Civil War veterans buried in Stephens County, Oklahoma, being over forty years of age when the war began. He was also a married man and father during the time he served in the CSA, he and his wife, Susannah P. Baker, having five children: William H., Cornelia, J.D. (“Jefferson Davis”) and Edmund Booker.

Wrongly credited with having been a Union man in Dale Talkington’s fine work The Long Blue Line, B.B. actually served as the Captain of Co. C of the CSA, 36th Georgia Infantry (Broyle’s; aka: Glenn’s) Regiment. The National Park Service’s Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System site provides the following summary of the experiences of the 36th Georgia:

“The 36th Georgia Infantry (Broyles’) Regiment ([aka:] Glenn’s) was organized at Dalton, Georgia , during the winter of 1861-1862 with many officers and men from the Dalton area. It was sent to Tennessee, then moved to Mississippi where it served in T.H. Taylor’s Brigade, Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana. The regiment fought at Champion’s Hill* and was captured at Vicksburg on July 4, 1863. After being exchanged and brigaded under General Cummings, it fought with the Army of Tennessee from Chattanooga to Nashville, and ended the war in North Carolina. The unit was organized with 930 men, reported 43 casualties at Chattanooga, and totaled 267 men and 213 arms in December, 1863. In January, 1865, when it was consolidated with the 56th Georgia Regiment, 232 were present for duty. Few surrendered on April 26. The unit was commanded by Colonels C.E. Broyles and Jesse A. Glenn, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander M. Wallace, and Major John Loudermilk.”

The 36th Georgia was no stranger to combat and one can only imagine the stories this officer could tell of his experiences during the war. Some of the engagements in which the 36th Georgia took part are: Cumberland Gap (June 17-18, 1862), Vicksburg (May-July 1863; remember, the 36th was captured at Vicksburg), the siege of Chattanooga (Oct.-Nov. 1863), the Atlanta campaign (May-Oct. 1864), Nashville (Dec. 15-16, 1864) and Bentonville (March 19-21, 1865).

Berry Ben is buried in the Duncan Municipal Cemetery (block 6, lot 86, space 3) in Duncan, OK. His tall, white gravestone – with the word “Captain” inscribed on it – is easy to find.

Can you help fill in the blanks to some of the mystery of this man’s life? If you have more information on this veteran that you would care to share with me, I’d enjoy hearing from you.

* Readers of this series will note the mention of the Battle of Champion’s Hill. Several of the veterans who have already been highlighted in this series (such as Leprelette Asa King) – and others who will in future installments – fought in that battle.

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