Col. Benajah P. Bailey

Col. Benajah P. Bailey

Benajah was largely engaged in the manufacture of lumber and in merchandising.  He was an officer of the civil war, serving as colonel of the Eighty-sixth Regiment, New York Volunteers. The 86th New York was part of Major General Pope's command of the Army of the Potomac, under Brigade Commander, Brigadier General A. Sanders Piatt, in Brigadier General Samuel D. Sturgis', Corps.

At the second battle of Bull Run Col. Bailey and his 86th Regiment took a major part in the battle when they participated in a counterattack and turned the Confederate army who was attempting to capture the high ground near Groveton, VA called Henry Hill. Col. Robert Buchanan's Brigade of Regulars, and Piatt's Brigade were in reserve to the rear of the Union line which had taken severe abuse from the Confederates and a division of Georgians, in particular.

At 6:00 PM the Rebs attacked. After 45 minutes of heavy fighting, the reserves were called to reinforce the left and center of the Union line defending Henry Hill. Col. Bailey led the 86th New York to the front and deployed them in the center to the left of two of Buchanan’s fresh regiments. When the order to attack was given he led the 86th New York in a charge down the hill all the way to the road. One witness wrote in his diary, "The enemy received a fearful and rapid fire for a considerable time from the Enfield guns of the 86th N. Y. State volunteers.

The fire from the 86th New York forced the 17th Georgia to give way. Slowly the Confederate line was pushed back until fighting was compromised by nightfall. After several more viscous probing attacks by the enemy and just as viscous repulses by the Union army, the Confederates concluded that more fighting would be useless. They allowed Pope to retreat his army to Centerville.

It was during this second Battle of Bull Run that Col. Bailey was wounded.  He retired from the army in shattered health, dying not long afterward, in less than four years.


Return to Bull Run, John J. Hennessy, 1993
Kimmel Papers, Archives of L. L. Kimmel [1st cousin 5X removed]. Col. Bailey’s mother was Lydia Gore.

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