History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Benjamin S. Roberts
BENJAMIN S. ROBERTS wag born in Manchester, Vermont, on the 18th of November, 1810. He graduated at the Military Academy at West Point in 1835, and was commissioned a second lieutenant. In 1839 he resigned and became chief engineer of a railroad company and later was Assistant State Geologist for New York. He finally studied law and in 1844 located at Fort Madison, Iowa, where he practiced law. When the Mexican War began in 1846 he returned to the service and was appointed first lieutenant in a regiment of mounted riflemen. Mr. Roberts greatly distinguished himself in the campaign of General Scott against the City of Mexico. He led the advance into the city and with his own hands raised the American flag over the ancient palace of the Montezumas. At the close of the war he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the regular army. In 1849 the Iowa Legislature bestowed upon him a sword of honor for his gallant services during the war. When the Civil War began Colonel Roberts was in command of the southern district of New Mexico, where he routed the Confederate army and saved the Territory to the Union. In 1882 he was promoted to Brigadier-General and became Inspector-General of General Pope's army in Virginia. In June, 1863, he was assigned to the command of the Department of Iowa with headquarters at Davenport. He served with distinguished ability to the close of the war.