Major General Benjamin Henry Grierson, USV
(1826 PA-1911 MI)
Original Member of the Missouri Commandery of MOLLUS


MO Commandery of MOLLUS, Circular No.399, 26Mar1912
Original Photo from the MO Commandery of MOLLUS Photograph collection
Located at the Missouri State Historical Society Library and Archives, St. Louis, MO

Visit the MO Commandery of MOLLUS Homepage

Benjamin Henry Grierson was born July 08, 1826 in Pittsburg, PA, the son of Robert and Mary (Shepard) Grierson, natives of Dublin, Ireland. He attended an academy at Youngstown, OH, taught music there and at Jacksonville, IL and for five years was a merchant at Meredosia, IL.

He entered the service May 8, 1861, as Aide-de-Camp to General B. M. Prentiss with nominal rank of Lieutenant and Major, without pay. Major 6th Illinois Cavalry Oct. 24, 1861; Colonel April, 1862; Brigadier General June, 1863; Brevet Major General February, 1865; Major General May, 1865. Mustered out April, 1866. Colonel 10th Cavalry July 1866; Brigadier General April 1890. Retired July , 1890.

General Grierson was one of the most successful cavalry leaders of the Civil War. His raid with a brigade of cavalry in April and May, 1863, through Mississippi to Baton Rouge, LA, was one of the most daring and successful of the entire war, and contributed largely to the success of General Grant in his Vicksburg campaign, by drawing large forces of enemy from his front. For this he was commissioned Brigadier General. He was recognized by General Grant as an aggressive and resourceful commander, and was entrusted with important commands to the end of the war, invariably accomplishing what he undertook. His promotion to Brevet Major General was in direct recognition of gallant and meritorious service in an expedition against Hood's communications and capture of Verona and Egypt station, MS, in December, 1864, and January, 1865; and Major General for meritorious service during the war and expedition from Mobile Bay to Georgia and Mississippi. He was actively engaged in Indian wars and in his campaigns against the hostiles enhanced the reputation he had previously earned.

Benjamin twice married: on Sept. 24, 1854 to Alice Kirk, of Youngstown, OH, who died in 1888; and on July 28, 1897 to Lillian (Atwood) King of Jacksonville, IL. He died Aug. 31, 1911 at his summer home in Omena, MI, and is buried at the Jacksonville Cemetery, Jacksonville, IL.

MGen Benjamin Harrison Grierson, USV was elected a Companion of the MO Commandery on March 5, 1887, Insignia #5364. His son Captain Charles H. Grierson, USA MO#5398 was a hereditary member of the MO Commandery.

During WWII the Liberty Ship SS Benjamin H. Grierson #1609 was built in his honor by the United States Maritime Commission.

Sources:
1) MO Commandery of MOLLUS, Circular No.399, 26Mar1912
2) Membership Records of the MO Commandery of MOLLUS
3) Webpage on US Generals.
4) Webpage on Liberty Ships built by the United States Maritime Commission in World War II.
5) Dictionary of American Biography, c1929 p.613-614

Copyright (c) 2000 Douglas Niermeyer, MO Commandery of the MOLLUS