Benjamin Hardin Helm

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Benjamin Hardin Helm was born at Bardstown, Kentucky, June 2, 1831, and was graduated from West Point in the class of 1851. He resigned the following year to take up the study and practice of law. In 1856 he married Emily Todd, half sister of Mrs. Abraham Lincoln. He served in the Kentucky legislature in 1855-56, and was commonwealth attorney from 1856 to 1858. In April 1861 he was offered a commission as major-paymaster in the United States Army by Lincoln. However, Helm declined the President's proffer, in order to recruit the 1st Kentucky (Confederate) Cavalry, of which he was commissioned colonel on October 19, 1861. He was a brigadier general in the Provisional Confederate Army from March 14, 1862. He served in the Vicksburg area and in Louisiana until, in January 1863, he was assigned to the command of General R. W. Hanson's old brigade in General John C. Breckinridge's division of the Army of Tennessee. This he led in the operations around Tullahoma, and was at times in command of the division. At the battle of Chickamauga, on September 20, 1863, in the first assault of Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk's wing on the Federal breastworks, General Helm was mortally wounded. He died the day following and was first buried in Atlanta; his remains were moved to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, twenty-one years later.

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Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.