Samuel Benton, a nephew of Senator Thomas Hart Benton, was born on October 18, 1820, probably in Williamson County, Tennessee. In early life he taught school, later settling in Holly Springs, Mississippi, where he became a prominent lawyer and politician. Benton represented Marshall County in the state legislature and in the secession convention of 1861, which took Mississippi out of the Union. First a captain in the old 9th Mississippi, a twelve-months regiment, he was, early in 1862, elected colonel of the 37th Infantry, later reorganized as the 34th. His service in 1862 and 1863 was largely in North Mississippi and Middle Tennessee. He participated in the Atlanta campaign under Joseph E. Johnston in the spring of 1864, and was given command of Walthall's old brigade early in July. On the twenty-second of that month, during the battle of Atlanta, he was struck over the heart by a piece of shell, and also sustained a wound in the foot that necessitated amputation. He died six days later in a hospital in Griffin, Georgia, before receiving his commission as brigadier general, to rank from July 26, 1864. After temporary burial in Griffin, he was re-interred after the war in Holly Springs. The elaborate monument over his grave gives no indication of his connection with the Confederate cause.
Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.