18 year old Benjamin David Hennington enlisted as a Private in Company C, 16th Mississippi Infantry in April 1861. He survived a wound at Sharpsburg in 1862, by then a Sergeant, was appointed 2nd Lieutenant in 1863, and was wounded again and lost his sword at Spotsylvania Court House, VA in May 1864.

In 1913, James R. Woods, who had served in the 6th US Cavalry during the Battle of the Wilderness [sic], put an advertisement in the Times-Picayune of New Orleans seeking to return to its rightful owner a sword he had picked up during the fighting. He was able to identify the Confederate soldier by the name and unit engraved on the scabbard: “B.D. Hennington, 16th Mississippi.” Apparently Woods was successful in his efforts, for Hennington proudly posed for this portrait holding his long-lost sword.


This photograph was contributed to the FamilySearch database by J.K. Walters.

The sword’s story is from Jeff T. Giambrone in his Remembering Mississippi’s Confederates (2012). He credits Larry and Gayle Van Horn for the picture. Gayle posted a fine bio sketch of Hennington on her genealogy blog in 2008.

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