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About Benjamin Jeffrey Sweet
Benjamin Sweet (April 24, 1832 – January 1, 1874) was an American politician, soldier and Deputy Commissioner of Internal Revenue.
Sweet was born Benjamin Jeffery Sweet on April 24, 1832 in New York. He later moved to Chilton, Wisconsin. Sweet died on January 1, 1874 and is buried at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois.
Sweet was elected to the Wisconsin State Senate. He later served as Deputy Commissioner of Internal Revenue of the United States from 1872 until his death.
Soon after the outbreak of the American Civil War, on July 16, 1861, Sweet joined the 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment of the Union Army and was given the rank of major. On September 17, 1861, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. On September 5, 1862, Sweet was promoted to colonel and given command of the 21st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment. During the Battle of Perryville, despite being sick from malaria, he led his men in combat until he was seriously wounded in his right arm. The wound ultimately left Sweet paralyzed in that arm for the rest of his life. Sweet resigned his commission on September 8, 1863.
On September 25, 1863, Sweet was appointed a colonel in the Veteran Reserve Corps and assigned to the garrison at the Union Army prisoner-of-war camp for Confederate States Army soldiers at Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois. Following recuperation from his injury, Sweet was given command of Camp Douglas after Brigadier General William W. Orme resigned on May 2, 1864. Later that year, he discovered and thwarted a plot by spies for the Confederacy to liberate Confederate prisoners of war and attack Chicago on the eve of the 1864 United States presidential election. Sweet's efforts to prevent the conspirators from achieving their objective earned him the thanks of the United States Department of War. On December 12, 1864, President Lincoln awarded Sweet the rank of brevet brigadier general of volunteers to rank from December 20, 1864, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the award on February 14, 1865. Sweet resigned from the army on September 19, 1865.
Civil War Union Brevet Brigadier General. He served in the Civil War first as Lieutenant Colonel of the 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry (which was part of the famed Iron Brigade), then as Colonel and commander of the 21st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, which he helped raise. At the October 8, 1862 Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, he rose from an ambulance, sick from malaria, and led his unit until he was severely wounded. Upon his recovery he was made Colonel and commander of the 8th Veterans Reserve Corps, and was appointed as commander of the Camp Douglas Military Prison in Chicago, Illinois. While commander, he oversaw the internment of over 10,000 Confederate prisoners. His tenure in command was marked by a zealous pursuit of punitive measures that were endorsed by higher Union authorities - measures resulted in the deaths of over 5,000 rebel prisoners. He was brevetted Brigadier General, US Volunteers on December 20, 1864. After the war he served as Deputy United States Commissioner of Internal Revenue from 1872 to until his death in Washington DC in 1874. (bio by: Russ Dodge)