CSR, Etter, CWS&SS.

Sergeant B. J. Hill
G Company

 He enlisted on the 18 May 1861.

Discharged on the 22 December 1862 at Pocotaligo, S.C., on account of chronic dysentery.

Was mentioned in the diary of Reisoner Etter on the 20 September and the 22 December 1862, in fact Etter sent $50 home with him.

(This is what is held on him! See below for information on who could be his wife and where both are buried etc.)


Find., Int., Fam., SCV, CWS&SS.

Brigadier General Benjamin Jefferson Hill
Commanding Officer 35th Tennessee Infantry

He played a role in the formation of the 5th Tennessee Regiment, which as renamed the 35th and of which he was commissioned colonel upon its organization on 6 September 1861. On the 30 November 1864 he was promoted to brigadier-general.

During part of 1863 and 1864 and during the Atlanta campaign he was general provost-marshal of the army of Tennessee.

Known by his men as the "Lion of Ben Lomond".

He was born 13 June 1825 in McMinnville, TN, the son of Isaac Hill and Francis S. Pickett.

He grew up on a farm.

His father died in 1834 when he was only nine years old.

When older he borrowed money to attend and graduate from Irving College.

After graduating in 1844 he moved to McMinnville and entered the mercantile business as a clerk for the Colville and White General Store on East Main Street.

After a few years he moved to the D. G. Stone mercantile business.

By the middle 1850s he had become a city alderman, the town treasurer, and he opened his own store about 1857, known as B. J. Hill Grocery. Also that year he was elected as state senator. He was a Democrat.

After the war he reopened his store and again became active in the affairs of the community and county.

In 1870 Hill closed his store and began the study of law.

In 1872 he became mayor of McMinnville. He was also chairman of the board of elders of the Main Street Presbyterian Church.

He went on to become the president of the of the McMinnville and Manchester railroad and continued in this post until July 1877.

He married Mary Vesta Smartt on19 August 1850, in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church on East Main Street, McMinnville, TN. She was born 23 August 1825 in TN and was the daughter of George Randolph and Athelia (Randolph) Smartt. They had one known child, Lou Lillian Hill, who died in infancy.

He died 5 January 1880 at McMinnville, TN, and was buried under a large oak tree next to his baby daughter in the old City Cemetery in McMinnville. His wife died 1 March 1909 and is also buried in old City Cemetery.

General Benjamin J. Hill Camp #1615, Sons of Confederate Veterans,  has a biography of General Hill in this they state that he "took an active part in the formation of the 16th Tennessee Regiment." Also "an interesting story prior to the battle of Perryville comes to us from the diary of Private Stokeley Etter, a member of the 16th Regiment. Evidently, Hill addressed the assembled members of both regiments prior to their offensive."

It seems unlikely that these two men are the same person, the dates dont add up, although some of the information posted in both are the same, which would seem to be a mistake in the biography of Sergeant Hill.

There is no Stokeley/Stokely/Shockley Etter listed as being in the 16th Tennessee, or in the Confederate army for that matter. There was a Stockley Etter in the 8th Missouri State Militia Cavalry and a Stokely Etter in the 14th Missouri State Militia Cavalry but both these are Union regiments.

I have contacted General Benjamin J. Hill Camp #1615, for information but no reply. Could they be the same man?