Benjamin F. Cheatham

Benjamin F. Cheatham

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Benjamin F. Cheatham

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Benjamin Franklin Cheatham (October 20, 1820 – September 4, 1886), known also as Frank, was a Tennessee aristocrat, California gold miner, and a General in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, serving in many battles of the Western Theater.

Early years

Cheatham was born in Nashville, Tennessee on a plantation called Westover, which in its prime consisted of three thousand acres (12 kmĀ²). He was born into two of the finest and prominent families of the middle Tennessee aristocracy. On his mothers' side of the family he was a direct descendant of General James Robertson, the founder of Nashville and father of middle Tennessee. The Cheathams had been in middle Tennessee for many generations and established themselves as plantation owners, lawyers, doctors and mayors of the city. At the start of the Mexican-American War, he joined the 1st Tennessee Infantry Regiment as a captain and finished the war as Colonel of the 3rd Tennessee. He moved to California in 1849 for the Gold Rush, but returned to Tennessee in 1853, where he worked as a planter and served as a brigadier general in the Tennessee Militia.

Civil War

Cheatham joined the Confederate States Army as a brigadier general on May 9, 1861, and became a brigade commander in the Western District of Department Number Two, under Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk. His first test in the war was...
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