Civil War Volunteers
Submitted by Michael J. Dooley, COL, U.S. Army on 4 December 2001
I note that your website does not list the service of Benjamin Franklin Pearson (b. 20 April 1815, d. 12 December 1883, buried Purdom Cem., Van Buren Co.). Although Centerville is listed as his residence in the official record for Company G, 36th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, I believe his service should also be recognized on the Van Buren County website for many reasons
1. He arrived in Bentonsport before December 23, 1837 and purchased land there.
2. He was a longtime resident of Van Buren Co. before (listed in census for 1847, 1850, and 1860) and after the war.
3. He is buried in Purdom Cemetary, Van Buren Co.
4. As a mason, he built many of the oldest brick/stone buildings in Van Buren Co., including the "Pearson House" in Keosauqua.
Should you agree, the following is provided from the unit records
"Pearson, Benjamin F. Age 47. Residence Centerville, nativity Maryland. Appointed Second Lieutenant July 26, 1862. Mustered Oct. 4, 1862. Promoted First Lieutenant March 4, 1863. Taken prisoner April 25, 1864, Mark's Mills, Ark. Returned to Company. Resigned May 3, 1865."
Benjamin Franklin Pearson's war diary was published as a series of articles in the "Annals of Iowa" between October 1925 and January 1927. The diary contains many references of interest to Van Buren County researchers since he references letters from country residents, etc.
His son, Phineas Amandus Pearson (b. May 13, 1847, d. April 17, 1894, buried Pittsburg Cem., Van Buren Co.) is listed on your site, but with no Company referenced. He enlisted in Company G, 36th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Father and son fought together at the Battle of Mark's Mills, Ark.
Lieutenant Pearson was captured during the battle. He was later given permission to search the battlefield for his son by his Confederate captors. His search was fruitless, and it was not until after his release that he learned that his son had escaped capture. This episode is also referenced in the book "Dreams End Two Iowa Brothers in the Civil War" by Orr Kelly and Mary Davies Kelly (Kodansha America, Inc. New York, 1998).
I'm also providing the following information regarding the 36th Iowa Volunteer Infantry personnel listed on your web page to correct/make more complete the information available to genealogists
Custer, John W., e. Aug. 11, 1862, m. o. Aug. 24, 1865. [Company "B" Custer, John W. Age 21. Residence Farmington, nativity Indiana. Enlisted Aug.11, 1862. Mustered Sept. 3, 1862. Mustered out Aug. 24, 1865, Devall's Bluff, Ark.]
Custer, W. N., e. Aug. 11, 1862, m. o. Aug. 2, 1865. [Company "B" Custer, Willis N. Age 24. Residence Farmington, nativity Indiana. Enlisted Aug. 11, 1862. Mustered Sept. 3, 1862. Mustered out Aug. 24, 1865, Devall's Bluff, Ark.]
Custer, B. O., e. Aug. 11, 1862, killed at Mark's Mills [Company "B" Custer, Banion O. Age 18. Residence Farmington, nativity Indiana. Enlisted Aug. 11, 1862. Mustered Sept. 3, 1862. Killed in action April 25, 1864, Mark's Mills, Ark.]
Barker, Peter N., e. Aug. 9, 1862, m. o. Aug. 24, 1865. [Company "D" Barker, Peter N. Age 27. Residence Van Buren County, nativity Ohio. Enlisted Aug. 9, 1862. Mustered Sept. 6, 1862. Mustered out Aug. 24, 1865, Devall's Bluff, Ark.]
Henderson, James, e. Aug. 9, 1862, m. o. Aug. 24, 1865. [Company "F" Henderson, James. Age 26. Residence Birmingham, nativity Ohio. Enlisted Aug. 9, 1862. Mustered Oct 4, 1862. Discharged for disability March 7, 1863, St. Louis, Mo.]
Pearson, P. A., e. Feb. 24, 1864, m. o. Aug. 24, 1865. [Company "G" Pearson, Phineas A. Age 17. Residence Van Buren Country, nativity Iowa. Enlisted Feb. 24, 1864. Mustered March 9, 1864. Mustered out Aug. 24, 1865, Devall's Bluff, Ark.]
Iowa, Adjutant General's Office. Roster and Records of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion Together With Historical Sketches of Volunteer Organizations, 1861-1965. Des Moines, Iowa E.H. English, state printer, 1908-1911.
Researchers should note that this roster is the "official" compiled record of service prepared by the state. Books such as these were used by each state to verify pension claims, award medals, etc.
Iowa, Adjutant General's Office. Report of the Adjutant General and Acting Quartermaster General of the State of Iowa, January 1, 1863 to January 11, 1864. Des Moines, Iowa F.W. Palmer, state printer, 1864.
Pearson, Benjamin F. "Benjamin F. Pearson's War Diary." Annals of Iowa (published as a series beginning with Vol. XV, No. 2 in October 1925). Des Moines, Iowa 1925-1927.