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Biography of Benjamin Piatt Runkle



Commissioned Captain, 13th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, April 22, 1861, he fought at Carnifex Ferry and was promoted to Major November 8, 1861. He was wounded at Shiloh and then was named Colonel, 45th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, August 19, 1862, serving in Kentucky. In June 1863 he served on the Ohio governor's staff, and later commanded a brigade in Kentucky and Tennessee. He was mustered out July 21, 1864 and commissioned Lieutenant Colonel, Veteran Reserve Corps, August 22, 1864. He was on duty with the Memphis Freedman's Bureau for the remainder of the war, and he continued in regular army as Major, 45th United States Infantry and Brevet Brigadier General, United States Volunteers, and Major General, United States Army. He retired in 1870, was cashiered 3 years later, reinstated in 1877, and restored in 1877 "to be borne as never having been legally separated from the army (decision of the Supreme Court, May 27, 1887)." He was born at West Liberty, Ohio, September 3, 1837. He received an AB degree, Miami University of Ohio, 1857 (LHD, 1899). He married: Lalla, the daughter of Andrew McMicken of Cincinnati, February 10, 1894. He was admitted to the bar, 1859, and practiced at Cincinnati, 1859-61. Captain, 13th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, April 22, 1861, Major, November 8, 1861, Colonel, 45th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, August 19, 1862, honorably mustered out, July 21, 1864. Lieutenant Colonel, Veteran Reserve Corps, August 22, 1864. Breveted Colonel, Brigadier General and Major General of Volunteers, November 9, 1865, for "meritorious services." Mustered out October 5, 1866. Served as Major, 45th United States Infantry, July 28, 1866. Breveted Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army, March 2, 1867 for "gallant and meritorious services at Shiloh" (wounded and left for dead on field), and Colonel, United States Army, March 2, 1867 for same during the war. He was editor of the Urbana, Ohio, Union, 1873-75 and was ordained a deacon, PE Church, October 1882. Church work, 1879-1884. Resigned diaconate, 1884. Professor of military science, Kenyon College, 1879-81, Miami University, 1899-1901, Peekskill Military Academy, 1902-04, New Jersey Military Academy, 1904-05, Germantown, Ohio, Military Institute, 1905-09. Assigned to duty with the Ohio National Guard, 1909. He was a founder (grand consul, 1895-97) of Sigma Chi Fraternity, and delegate to 1st and 22nd and orator before 22nd Grand Chapters. He made his home at Hillsboro, Ohio. He died on June 28, 1916 and was buried in Section 1 (Grave 240) of Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Lalla McMicken Runkle, who died on January 18, 1923, is buried with him.

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