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Confederate (CSV)


Benjamin Franklin Guest

(c. 1807 - 1862)

Home State: Georgia

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 53rd Georgia Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

In 1860 he was living alone, without his family, and was an overseer on a farm at Griffin, Spalding County, GA. In the Spring of 1862 he volunteered as a substitute (for Private R.A. McDonald) and mustered as Private, Company F, 53rd Georgia Infantry on 12 May 1862.

On the Campaign

He was killed in action at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862.

References & notes

His service from the Roster,1 as B.F. Guest, and R.M. McDonald's Compiled Service Records, US National Archives, online via fold3; there is no file for Guest, only a pointer to McDonald's. Personal details from family genealogists, at least one of whom has his birth in 1800, and from the US Census of 1850, 1860, and 1870. His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He married Mary Pettigrew Varner (1805-1888) in about 1822 in Madison County, GA and they had 7 children by 1842.

Family lore says he was known in the regiment as "Old Man Guest", which is not unreasonable given his age, and that he was "shot by a sniper" on the day before the battle at Sharpsburg - probably not true, as he and the other men of the Brigade didn't arrive on the battlefield until the morning of the 17th, and were first engaged about 9 AM.

The story goes that

he was an alcoholic, lost the family farm in Madison Co., GA and signed up to take the place of a R.A. McDonald during the war. His farm was auctioned by the sheriff for debts
and his widow moved in with their daughter Sarah Frances Adeline Guest Bond (1835-1903) and her family. This narrative is generally supported by the 1860 and 1870 US Census.


c. 1807 in SC


09/17/1862; Sharpsburg, MD


1   Henderson, Lilian, compiler, Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, 1861-1865, 6 vols., Hapeville (GA): Longino & Porter, 1959-1964  [AotW citation 19671]