Benjamin F. Sherburne was born in 1839 at “Ontanobo” [sic – Ontario?], New York. He enlisted on 11 September 1861 at DeKalb, Illinois, and was mustered into service on October 5, 1861 at Camp Butler, Springfield, Illinois. His physical description at the time of his enlistment stated he was 6 feet tall, had a dark complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. His occupation was farmer.

Plagued with sickness throughout his service, especially chronic dysentery, he spent 16 months on the sick list, confined to his bed in hospitals in Vicksburg, Memphis and Chicago, and was finally discharged for disability on 21 May 1864 in Chicago. A doctor’s report at the time of his discharge found him “greatly emaciated” and his prospects for recovery were “remote;” he was not even fit for service in the Invalid Corps. Benjamin’s residence at his discharge was given as Burlington, Kane County, Illinois.

After the war, Benjamin Sherburn lived in Clarkesville, Butler Co., Iowa, from at least as early as 1869 until as late as 1919, possibly until his death after that time. Benjamin had at least two children who were also living in Iowa in 1919: Guy in Waterloo, and Harvey in Clarksville.

Benjamin was the brother of Albert, who also served in Battery G. Benjamin had two sisters still living in 1918, Mrs. Marietta Thompson of Wynot, Nebraska; and Mrs. Emmaline Hannat of Shellrock, Iowa.

Benjamin died Dec. 23, 1919 in Waterloo, Iowa. For more biographical information, read Benjamin’s obituary.

SOURCES: Benjamin Sherburne military service record file, National Archives. Albert Sherburne pension file, National Archives.


Benjamin Franklin Sherburne was born in Canandaigua, New York, January 4, 1836, and died in Waterloo, Iowa, December 23, 1919. When he was a lad eleven years of age, Mr. Sherburne came with his parents to Sycamore, Illinois. Here he grew to manhood. On September 1, 1861, he enlisted in Company G, Second Ill. Light Artillery, where he served three years. In 1863 he came to Clarksville, Iowa which has been his home the greater part of the time since.

In 1867 he was married to Miss Sophrinia* Bishop. To this union were born five children, Frank W. of Ainsworth, Nebraska, Harvey H. and Mrs. B.F. Coldren of Clarksville and Gertrude I. Stark of Waterloo, Iowa, and Guy W., who died November 6th of the present year.

Mr. Sherburne has seen something of the west. In 1870 he moved with his family to Cedar County, Nebraska, where he resided ten years. He returned to Butler county, Iowa, from there; and in 1884 he moved to Dayton, Washington, where he resided two years. From there he returned to Clarksville, Iowa, where he has since made his home, excepting a few short periods of time in Cedar Rapids and Waterloo.

He was a man of splendid natural abilities. He had a powerful physique, a splendid mind, and a much more than ordinary gift of language and the ability to express his thots *in —–lle (illegible). He was at one time an active, enthusiastic christian man. During his stay in Nebraska he entered in the Methodist denomination. After working all week on the farm he would ride thirty miles on Sunday and preach three times. Returning to Clarksville to reside he united with the Presbyterian church, where he labored in his usual way, but as a lay member, un- (illegible) some unfortunate differences he became sidetracked and became a spiritual wandered until his last illness, when he yielded to the consciousness of his mistake, came back to the assurance of faith, which is only another instance of the patience of God’s love with those born into Jesus Christ, but have wandered. The writer had several talks with the departed on the subject of religion, and writes, not from any whimpering sentiment on the part of the deceased; but from a frank talk, in which prayer was a prominent part. Only the spirit of God leads and inclines men’s hearts to repose faith in him, altho human agencies may be used, God always takes the initiative (John 15:16). Man is apt to presume upon God and take chances. The loss that comes to men in moral and spiritual things is always the fault of the presuming human. God wills to save. Only man Hinders. Man wants the indulgence of sin in one hand and God’s gift of salvation in the other.Our choice determines our destiny. Where we are found when God’s people meet for worship and what we choose to do in the meanwhile is the label for our lives, indicating either our choice of walking with God or the enemy of souls.

To the bereaved we express our sympathy. Let the mantle of God’s love cover the mistakes of his repentant children. And, if mistakes in life’s journey in others become apparent to us, let this consciousness determine us to be enthusiastic in helping the mistaken ones to resume the line of God’s Leadership.

Mr. Sherburne was a charter member of the Masonic fraternity in Clarksville; and a large number of Masons were present at the funeral and administered the rites of their fraternity at the church and at the grave.

The funeral services were conducted in the Presbyterian church at 2:00 p.m., December 26th, by Rev. Thos. E. Sherman, who presented the subject, “Things We Should Know.” His text was: “For we know that if our earthly house this tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Cor. 5:1).

* as written
SOURCES: Obit of Benjamin F. Sherburne from the Clarskville, Iowa newspaper, Jan. 1, 1920. Courtesy Ceil Damschroder, Colorado Springs, Colorado – August 2000, posted with permission.