William Bensinger's Sword

Dublin Core


William Bensinger's Sword


Military Ohio
Daggers & Swords
Andrews' Raiders


This sword belonged to William Bensinger, a native of McComb, Ohio, who was one of Andrews' Raiders, a group of men who ventured deep inside Confederate territory during the Civil War. The raiders were caught, and William Bensinger was an exchange prisoner. Bensinger used this sword as a soldier in the 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry (O.V.I.), in which he served from 1861 until he volunteered for the mission as one of Andrews' Raiders. It measures 43" (109.22 cm) long and 1.5" wide (3.82 cm). In 1862, a group of Ohioans volunteered to be part of a secret mission deep into Confederate territory to disrupt transportation and communication lines. The group, later known as Andrews' Raiders, purchased tickets and boarded a train just north of Marietta, Georgia on the morning of April 12, 1862. When the train stopped at the town of Big Shanty for breakfast, the soldiers separated the engine, called The General, the coal tender, and three boxcars from the rest of the train. With the Confederate crew in pursuit, Andrews' Raiders headed toward Chattanooga, tearing up track and cutting telegraph lines. The Confederates picked up a new engine, The Texas, at the next railroad station and continued to pursue the Raiders. Although they released two of the boxcars and tried to set fire to a bridge, it soon became clear that the Raiders would never make it to Chattanooga. They abandoned The General about half way to Chattanooga. Andrews' Raiders fled on foot, but all 21 were captured within a week. Eight of them were hanged and the rest were sent to Confederate prison camps.




McComb Public Library, Andrews' Raiders Collection


circa 1861


Kristina Kuehling


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McComb (Ohio)
Hancock County (Ohio)

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unknown, "William Bensinger's Sword ," in Ohio Civil War 150 | Collections & Exhibits, Item #1725, http://www.ohiocivilwar150.org/omeka/items/show/1725 (accessed January 17, 2019).

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