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Brigadier General Benjamin Franklin Kelly

B. F. Kelley commanded the Union forces during Philippi, first battle of the Civil War

Nickname: Old Ben Kelley Brigadier General Benjamin Franklin Kelley, a recruiter from Wheeling who commanded the Union troops during the first battle of the Civil War at Philippi on June 3, 1861. Kelley, who was a colonel at the time of the battle, was brevetted a to Brigadier General back to May 14, 1861 following the fight. He was one of four casualties on the Union side and so seriously injured that it was believed to be mortal at the time. Under William Rosecrans he commanded a 5,000-man contingent in Romney, West Virginia in the winter of 1861-1862. After Stonewall Jackson disrupted Union operations to repair the B&O Railroad in Hancock, Maryland, Jackson turned his 9,000 man army towards Romney. Kelley boldly attacked Winchester, defeating 700 local militia. When Jackson continued towards Romney Kelley was forced to return to Romney and withdraw. On February 1, 1865 Kelley and Mjor General George Crook were captured in a hotel in Cumberland, Maryland by Confederate raiders. They were transported to Libby Prison where they were quickly exchanged. Neither Crook nor Kelley participated in the Civil War after their release.

Image added on:January 7, 2006


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