Benjamin Isaac Higginbotham (1806 - 1884)

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Death: Died in Franklin, TN, USA
Managed by: Leigh Withers
Last Updated:

About Benjamin Isaac Higginbotham

Benjamin was about 7 years old when the Higginbotham family moved to Madison County, Alabama. Sometime during his 20s, he moved to Franklin County, Tennesse where he met and married Catharine VanZandt around 1832.

Three of his sons served in the Tennessee Volunteers during the Civil War.

During the Civil War in the period leading up to Chickamauga and afterward up to the Atlanta Campaign, Old Ben or Old Man Higginbotham as he was then known carried letters between folks in Franklin County and the men of the 41st Tennessee Infantry Regiment CSA. He charged five cents a letter and several members of the 41st complained that the cost was rather high but paid it anyway in order to maintain contact with their loved ones in Middle Tennessee. Old Ben had two sons and several nephews (VanZandts) on his wife's side of the family in the 41st.

Carrying the mail through enemy lines was very dangerous and he could have been charged as a spy and shot or hanged. Middle Tennessee was then under the control of the Federals and bushwackers and other irregular units were terrorizing the countryside. After Old Ben showed up badly beaten by bushwackers and reported the danger and harrassment to their families back home, several of the members of the 41st including his sons and one of the VanZandt cousins decided to leave and return home to protect their famiies and property. They left after Chickamauga and just before Lookout Mountain and were later reported as deserters on the muster roles. Considering their outstanding service in earlier battles and the key role the 41st played in driving the Army of the Cumberland USA from the field at Chickamauga, one must conclude that their decision to abandon the fray was not due to cowardice but due to a concern for the wellbeing of their families. None took the required loyalty oath and most of them later drew Conferedate pensions.

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Benjamin Higginbotham's Timeline

1806
1806
1834
September 21, 1834
Age 28
Franklin, TN, USA
1884
1884
Age 78
Franklin, TN, USA
????
????
Old Salem, Tennessee