Edmund Nathaniel Benchley (1876 - 1898) MP

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Birthplace: Worcester, MA, USA
Death: Died in Cuba
Cause of death: killed in the Battle of San Juan during Spanish American War
Managed by: Jenna, Volunteer Curator
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Immediate Family

About Edmund Nathaniel Benchley

Edmund Benchley graduated from West Point in April 1898. He was assigned to the 6th U.S. Infantry at the rank of Lieutenant. Less than three months later, on 1 July 1898, he was killed in action during the Battle of San Juan, Cuba, an engagement of the Spanish American War.

Edmund was the older brother of Robert Charles Benchley (September 15, 1889 – November 21, 1945) an American humorist best known for his work as a newspaper columnist and film actor.


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Lt. Edmund Benchley's Timeline

March 3, 1876
Worcester, MA, USA
April 25, 1898
- August 12, 1898
Age 22
Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam

The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States.[6] Revolts against Spanish rule had been endemic for decades in Cuba and were closely watched by Americans; there had been war scares before, as in the Virginius Affair in 1873. By 1897–98 American public opinion grew more angry at reports of Spanish atrocities, magnified by the "yellow journalism". After the mysterious sinking of the American battleship Maine in Havana harbor, political pressures from the Democratic Party pushed the government headed by President William McKinley, a Republican, into a war McKinley had wished to avoid.[7] Compromise proved impossible, resulting in an ultimatum sent to Madrid, which was not accepted.[8] First Madrid, then Washington, formally declared war.

Although the main issue was Cuban independence, the ten-week war was fought in both the Caribbean and the Pacific. A series of one-sided American naval and military victories followed on all fronts, owing to their numerical superiority in most of the battles and despite the good performance of some of the Spanish infantry units.[9] The outcome was the 1898 Treaty of Paris—which was favorable to the U.S.—followed by temporary American control of Cuba and indefinite colonial authority over Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. The defeat and subsequent end of the Spanish Empire was a profound shock for Spain's national psyche. The victor gained several island possessions spanning the globe and a rancorous new debate over the wisdom of imperialism. (from Wikipedia)

July 1, 1898
Age 22

Robert's older brother, Edmund, was rushed to the Spanish-American War days after graduation from West Point (1898), and was a casualty almost immediately. The Benchley family was attending a public Fourth of July picnic when a bicycle messenger brought the notification telegram. In unthinking, stunned reaction, Maria ("Jenny") Benchley cried out "Why couldn't it have been Robert?!", then standing by her side at the age of nine. (from Wikipedia)

New York, USA