About Robert Franklin Beckham
Robert Franklin Beckham (May 6, 1837 – December 5, 1864) was a young artillery officer who commanded a horse artillery battalion under J.E.B. Stuart and in the Army of Tennessee. He was mortally wounded at Columbia before the battle of Battle of Franklin on November 29, 1864.
Beckham was born in Culpeper, Virginia. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point as a member of the class of 1859. Beckham ranked 6th in his class of 22. He then served as a lieutenant in the United States Engineers until 1861 and the outbreak of the Civil War.
When the Civil War began, Beckham commanded an artillery battery which he led at the First Battle of Bull Run. He then joined the staff of General Gustavus W. Smith in January 1862, playing a key role at the Battle of Seven Pines. Beckham was subsequently elected captain of the Jeff Davis Artillery on March 31, 1862 but did not accept, continuing to serve as an ordnance office at the rank of major. Upon Stuart's request, Beckham was assigned to command the Stuart Horse Artillery after the death of Major John Pelham on April 8, 1863.
Beckham was a personally brave officer who earned the approval of Stonewall Jackson at the Battle of Chancellorsville and a commendation for gallantry from Stuart at the Battle of Brandy Station. He was also a capable administrator, earning the praise of Stuart in administering his batteries and refitting them.
In February 1864, Beckham was transferred west to command the artillery of the Army of Tennessee. He was promoted to colonel. While in command of the artillery, he was mortally wounded while commanding his guns at Columbia, the day before the Battle of Franklin, on November 29, 1864, dying several days later on December 5. He was buried in St. John's Churchyard in Ashwood, Tennessee.
Birth: May 6, 1837, Culpeper, Culpeper County, Virginia, USA
Death: Dec. 5, 1864, Ashwood (Maury County), Maury County, Tennessee, USA
Civil War Confederate Army Officer. Graduated sixth in the 1859 class of the United States Military Academy and was posted with the United States Topographical Engineers. During the Civil War he first served as a Lieutenant of artillery in the Confederate army before joining the staff of Major General Gustavus W. Smith. Commissioned Major on August 16, 1862. On April 8, 1863 he was promoted to command of the Stuart Horse Artillery with the cavalry corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, as replacement for the recently killed Major John Pelham. On February 16, 1864 he was promoted to Colonel and ordered to General John Bell Hood, where he was assigned to the command of the artillery in Lieutenant General Stephen Dill Lee’s corps. During Hood's invasion of Tennessee he was mortally wounded near Columbia, Tennessee during an artillery exchange and died near Ashwood, Tennessee on December 5, 1864. (bio by: Steve Dunn)