Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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KELLEY, Benjamin Franklin, soldier, born in New Hampton, N. H., 10 April, 1807. He removed to West Virginia in 1826, and, settling in Wheeling, engaged in merchandise till 1851, when he became freight-agent on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. In May, 1861, he raised the first Virginia regiment for the National army, and was commissioned its colonel. He was engaged at Philippi, near Grafton, West Virginia, and severely wounded, was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers, 17 Nay, 1861, captured Romney on 26 October, and was again victorious at Blue's Gap. He was then given the command of the Department of Harper's Ferry and Cumberland, but was relieved at his own request, in consequence of his wounds, in January, 1862. In the following summer he resumed command of the railroad district under General John C. Fremont, and in July, 1863, he was assigned to the Department of West Virginia. He was engaged in the pursuit of Lee after his passage of the Potomac, and in November, 1863, destroyed the camp of the Confederates under General John D. Imboden, near Morefield, Virginia In August, 1864, he repulsed the Confederate forces at Cumberland, Maryland, New Creek, and Morefield, Virginia, and on 13 March, 1865, he was brevetted major-general of volunteers. At the close of the civil war he was appointed collector of internal revenue for the 1st district of West Virginia, in 1876 became superintendent of Hot Springs reservation, Arkansas, and since 1883 has been examiner of pensions.
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