He enlisted under the alias 'John Brown' (2, 13).
He was born on 4 September 1822 (9, 10; 2 (32 in 1863), 3 (32 in 1863), 6 [36 in 1860], 7 [47 in 1870], 8 [57 in 1880], 9 [77 in 1900], 10 [38 in 1861]). He was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts (6, 7, 8, 9, 10; 2 has New Jersey).
He was educated in the public schools (10).
In 1860, he was living in Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts (6). He was a shoemaker (6). He was living with his wife Hannah, and (probably) their children Hannah, Benjamin, W H, Martha, Theodore, and Harriet (6).
When he enlisted, he was a laborer (2; 10 has "cordwainer").
When he enlisted, he was 5 feet 5 inches tall, and had a dark complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair (2).
He formed a company of men who asked to be enrolled as the "Mugford Guards" for five years (10, p.54). They were organized on 2 May 1861, with Day as Captain (10 p.55).
They paraded, led by the Marblehead band, on 13 May 1861 (10 p.55). A sword and equipment were presented to Captain Day (10 p.55). He gave a "spirited and brilliant" reply to an "eloquent address" (10 pp.55-56):
"Sir, you have proved true friends in the hour of need and in return I now swear before God and man that this sword shall not rest in its sheath until treason in all its forms has been subdued, the flag of the Confederacy trailed in the dust, and the glorious old flag of our nation again waves over a united and happy people. ... And now in behalf of my officers and men I return my sincere thanks to the citizens of Marblehead, Boston and Salem for their many acts of kindness towards the Mugford Guards. Rest assured, gentlemen, we appreciate your labors in our behalf and will so conduct ourselves, both as citizens and soldiers, as not to disgrace the name of the glorious old hero who fell upon the deck of the schooner Franklin, while fighting for religious and constitutional liberty."
On 5 July 1861, he was mustered in as Captain of company G of the 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery (also known as the 14th Massachusetts Infantry) (4, 5, 12, 14).
On 5 July 1861, he was married (10), presumably to Hannah [unknown family name].
On 14 December 1861 he was ordered to return to Marblehead, Massachusetts, for recruiting (10 p.56).
On 24 June 1862, he and his company were ordered to report for duty at Fort Warren (10 p.118).
He resigned and was mustered out on 24 October 1862 (4 [Nov 62], 10 pp.143, 422). The regimental history alludes to "friction", which led to numerous resignations about that time (10 p.143).
He was mustered in as a private in company I of the 45th Pennsylvania [?] in June 1863 (4). He was mustered out in September 1863 (4).
He was a substitute (1, 3). He enlisted and was mustered into service as a private in the 118th Pennsylvania Infantry on 10 September 1863, at Norristown, Pennsylvania (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). He was enlisted for three years, at Norristown, Pennsylvania (2).
He was captured at Laurel Hill, but recaptured by Sheridan and his troopers less than a day later (10 p.422).
He was transferred from the 118th Pennsylvania Infantry by special order 138, headquarters, Army of the Potomac (1 June 1865) (1, 2, 3, 12). He was a private in company A of the 91st Pennsylvania (1, 13, 14).
He seems to have been reported as deserting, on 6 July 1865 (11).
In 1870, he was living in Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts (7). He was a shoemaker, and had $200 in personal property (7). He was living with his wife Hannah and (probably) their children Hannah, Benjamin, William, Theodore, and Emma (7).
In 1880, he was living in Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts (8). He worked in a shoe factory, and had been out of work four months in the previous year (8). He was living with his wife Hannah and children Emma and Earnest (8).
In 1890, he was living in Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts (4).
He was a member of the Massachusetts House in 1890 (10 p.422).
On 2 September 1892, he applied successfully from Massachusetts for a pension (5, 12).
The War Department issued a letter on 6 December 1892 noting that his "true name" was 'Benjamin Day', and furnished a discharge certificate in that name, under the Act of Congress dated 14 April 1890 (3).
He was a member of the Massachusetts House in 1894 (10 p.422).
In 1900, he was living in Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts (9). He was widowed (9). The census does not list an occupation for him (9). He was living with a housekeeper, Evelyn Reynolds (9).
He died before 1917 (10 p.422).
1 Bates, Samuel Penniman. History of Pennsylvania volunteers, 1861-5. Harrisburg: B. Singerly, state printer, 1869-71. 5 volumes. 'Ninety-first regiment', volume 3, pages 186-233. (In the roster) (John Brown)
2 company A descriptive roll, entry 183 (John Brown)
3 Civil War Veterans' Card File, available at the Pennsylvania State Archives, searched 5 May 2004 (John Brown)
4 1890 US census, veterans' schedule, Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts, superisor's district 67, enumeration district 259, page 2 (Benjamin Day)
5 pension index, by name (Benjamin Day)
6 1860 US census, Massachusetts, Essex County, Marblehead, microfilm series M653, film 496, page 706 = page 30 handwritten (Benjamin Day)
7 1870 US census, Massachusetts, Essex County, Marblehead, microfilm series M593, film 611, page 809 (Benjamin Day)
8 1880 US census, Massachusetts, Essex County, Marblehead, supervisor's district 60, enumeration district 163, microfilm series T9, film 528, page 140 = 18 handwritten (Benjamin Day)
9 1900 US census, Massachusetts, Essex County, Marblehead, supervisor's district [blank], enumeration district 406, microfilm series T623, film 646, page 187 = sheet 21B handwritten (Benjamin Day)
10 Alfred Seelye Roe and Charles Nutt. History of the First Regiment of Heavy Artillery Massachusetts Volunteers (formerly the Fourteenth Regiment of Infantry) 1861-1865. Published by the Regimental Association, 1917.
11 consolidated morning report, 91st Pennsylvania, 6 July 1865 (Brown)
12 pension index, by regiment, 91st PA Infantry, company I (Benjamin Day)
13 index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania (John Brown)
14 index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania (Benjamin Day)
|Name||Benjamin Day||Hannah Day||Hannah J Day||Benjamin F Day||W H Day||Martha Day||Theodore Day||Harriet Day|
|Value of real estate owned|
|Value of personal estate|
|Place of birth||" [sc. Mass]||"||"||"||"||"||"||"|
|Married within year|
|Attended school within year||1||1||1|
|Cannot read & write|
|Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.|
|Name||Day Benjamin||- Hannah||- Hannah J||- Benj F||- William H||- Theodore P||- Emma J|
|Occupation||Shoemaker||Keeping House||No occupation||Works in Shoe Factory||Works in Shoe Fact||Attends School||Attends School|
|Real estate value|
|Personal estate value||200|
|Birthplace||- [sc. Mass]||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Father foreign born|
|Mother foreign born|
|Birth month if born within year|
|Marriage month if married within year|
|Attended school past year||1||1|
|Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.|
|Male US citizen at least 21 years old||1|
|Male US citizen at least 21 years old who can't vote ...|
|dwelling visit #||136|
|family visit #||200|
|name||Day Benjamin||- Hannah G||- Emma||- Earnest|
|month born if born in year|
|married during year|
|occupation||Works in shoe factory||Keeping house||Works in Reed [?] house||At school|
|school this year||[blank]|
|street||Gregory [?] St|
|name||Day Benjamin||Reynolds Eviline [sic]|
|birth date||Sept 1822||Aug 1839|
|# years married|
|mother of how many children?||2|
|# of children living||0 [?]|
|# years in USA|
|# months not employed||0|
|# months in school|
|free or mortgaged|
|# of farm schedule|
A petition dated April 16, 1861, signed by 79 men, was sent to Governor Andrew, asking to be enrolled in the service for five years, unless sooner discharged, under the name of Mugford Guards. The company had been raised by Captain Benjamin Day. They were called together April 30 and after examination all were pronounced physically fit by Dr. Samuel L. Young.
The company organized May 2, 1861--Capt. Benjamin Day, .... Two days later the officers qualified and received their commissions, muskets for the company, fife and drum, and they were assured that in a few days the company would go to the front with the Eighth Regiment....
The first parade, May 13, led by the Marblehead band, was notable for the presentation of a sword and equipment to Capt. Day at a halt in front of the town hall, and an eloquent address by Rev. Mr. Calthrop. Capt. Day's reply was spirited and brilliant.
"Sir," he said, "you have proved true friends in the hour of need and in return I now swear before God and man that this sword shall not rest in its sheath until treason in all its forms has been subdued, the flag of the Confederacy trailed in the dust, and the glorious old flag of our nation again waves over a united and happy people. ... And now in behalf of my officers and men I return my sincere thanks to the citizens of Marblehead, Boston and Salem for their many acts of kindness towards the Mugford Guards. Rest assured, gentlemen, we appreciate your labors in our behalf [page 55] and will so conduct ourselves, both as citizens and soldiers, as not to disgrace the name of the glorious old hero who fell upon the deck of the schooner Franklin, while fighting for religious and constitutional liberty." After the parade and meeting, a collation was given to the boys by Joseph Martin at his residence....
The Putnam Guards of Danvers were entertained in the town hall. Owing to bad weather the visitors remained over night and in the morning were escorted part of the way home by the Mugfords, after which they returned to the engine house to take part in a flag-raising, at which Capt. Day made another rousing speech. ...
Capt. Day was ordered home on recruiting duty, Dec. 14th, and with him went Nathaniel V. Rogers as clerk and Richard Watts, discharged for disability.
Nine more recruits came Dec. 25 and ten the next day with Capt. Day.
The following companies, commanded by Captains ..., Day of Marblehead, [page 83] ... are ordered to report to Brig. Gen. Andrews for duty at Fort Warren on Monday, June 24.
On the tenth of December, Capt. Day and Corp. Rogers, both of Co. G, were detailed to proceed to Massachusetts for the purpose of trying to restore the regimental ranks to their normal status. So soon do the exactions of actual service reduce the numbers; only five months from their muster-in, at no time in the field, yet the shrinkage is such that active recruiting must be done.
During the autumn numerous changes in officers took place. Col. Greene went home on a leave of absence and resigned October 11. Lieut. Col. Wright succeeded to the command. Dr. Dana resigned Oct. 30, while on leave. Capt. Wardwell, Capt. Day and Lieut. Poor resigned about the same time; Maj. Andrew Washburn and Capt. Leverett Bradley also severed their relations with the regiment. There had been friction for some time, charges and countercharges, but the spirit and purpose of this work forbids any attempt to present the causes or fix the blame. It may be said, however, that the monotony of garrison duty and lack of service in the field were doubtless the underlying causes, and that all these officers would have fought bravely and harmoniously together against the enemy, had they been sent to the front as they had hoped and expected, to share in the dangers and win the laurels that every soldier craves.
Benjamin Day, 38; cordwainer; Marblehead; b. Marblehead, Sept. 4, '22; educated in public schools; m. July 5, '61; in command of his company at Forts Runyon and Craig; resigned Oct. 24, '62; later he served as an enlisted man in co. I, 118th Penn. Infy.; was taken by the enemy at Laurel Hill, one of the Spottsylvania episodes, but was recaptured by Sheridan and his troopers within twenty-four hours; remained in the service till close of the war; member of the state legislature (house) '90, and '94. Died.