Bennett, Risden Tyler - Colonel, 14th N. C. Regiment
"Soldier Statesmen" June 18, 1840 - July 21, 1913
Risden Tyler Bennett, the 12th and youngest child of a prosperous Anson County, NC., plantation owner and preacher, was noted from an early age for his sharp intellect. When 17 years old, Bennett made a journey to the West, where he reported staying with Indians and viewing the Rocky Mountains. He also told the story of attending a funeral at which they "lost the corpse and had to go back three miles to find it; everybody was drunk but me and the corpse." Bennett returned to the East and, after earning a law degree from Cumberland University, began the practice of law in Anson County in 1860.
An ardent believer in Southern rights, Bennett enrolled as a private in Company C (Anson Guards) in April 1861. Fifteen months later, at the age of 22,, having demonstrated sound judgment and ability as a leader, he was promoted to colonel of his regiment, the 14th North Carolina. Bennett and the 14th faced their baptism of fire at the Battle of Williamsburg. From then to the end of the war, they found themselves in the hottest areas of some of the Army of Northern Virginia's hardest-fought battles. They charged up Malvern Hill, lost their colors in the valiant defense of Bloody Lane at Sharpsburg, and were a part of Gen. Stonewall Jackson's flank attack that routed the Union line at Chancellorsville.
The regiment also fought the first day at the Battle of Gettysburg, helping to rout the federal force. Positioned adjacent to the Mule Shoe at Spotsylvania, Bennett led his men in a daring charge on the morning of May 12, 1864, recovering and stabilizing the Rebel lines. Later that year, not yet recovered from his fourth wound (which he had received at Cold Harbor), Bennett had two horses shot out from under him at Winchester and was captured on September 19, 1864, while struggling to lead his men on foot. Bennett was confined at Fort Delaware, Del., until he was transferred to City Point, VA., for exchange on February 27, 1865. Fascinating Fact: A powerful and dramatic orator, Bennett resumed his law practice after the war, became a judge of the North Carolina Superior Court and served in the U.S. Congress. He died in his native Anson County in 1913 at the age of 73.
Information provided by: Brian Crow, Pittsburgh, PA. Colonel Bennett is his
Great Great Uncle, brother of his Great Great Grandmother, Ellen Jane Bennett.