Bay City Times – October 11, 1938
His Death Thins Vets' Ranks
B.F. Groomes Fought In 64 Civil War Battles.
The number of Bay City’s Civil War veterans was cut to three yesterday, when Benjamin Franklin Groomes, 607 West Jenny street, died at his home at the age of 94 years.
Starting his war career at the beginning of the strife and continuing in service until the end, Groomes was one of seven sons of Col. Charles Hengemann Groomes who was enlisted in the Union army. He was born in Richmond, Va., July 9, 1845, and at the age of 12 enlisted as drummer boy in the First U.S. Dragoons, a calvary unit at Boston.
Took Part In 64 Battles.
A short time later his unit went west and fought the Indians in Arizona, New Mexico and California for three years, to that period he was advanced from a drummer boy to a full-fledged soldier. When the rebellion broke out the Dragoons were ordered to St. Louie where they fought under General Nathaniel Lyon at Wilson’s Creek. Groomes first active fighting career began in the First Brigade of the First Division, First Army Corps.
In all, Groomes took part in 64 battles of the war throughout Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia. He took part in the grand review of the army before President Abraham Lincoln at the close of the war.
During one of the many encounters in which he was engaged he saw his brother John killed in battle. The summer when he attended the Civil War reunion at Gettysburg with Martin Heath, 2606 North Grant street, another Bay City veteran, he visited the grave of his brother. Three other brothers, two uncles and four cousins of the Bay Cityan also died in battle.
Honored By Sherman.
Shortly before he left the army, Groomes was presented with a silver mounted sharp shooting rifle by General William F. Sherman at Louisville, Ky. He also received his commission as lieutenant from Gen. Sherman at Black River, South Carolina, in 1865. He was wounded once during the battle of Chickamauga when a piece of shattered canon ball struck him just above his left eye.
Discharged from active service in September, 1865, Groomes traveled for some time before coming to Bay City, where he entered the lumbering business. For 30 years he worked in that capacity before retiring.
Surviving are his widow, Jane, a step-daughter, Mae Edmonds, of Bradford, Pa.; and two step-sons, Hugh Slosser who accompanied him this summer on his trip to Gettysburg, and Frank Slosser, both of Hale.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 2 p. m. at the residences, with the Rev. Homer D. Mitchell officiating. Burial will be in Oak Ridge cemetery under the auspices of the United Spanish War Veterans, supervised by Charles Cuthbert, commander of the Henry W. Lawton Camp No. 1.