Lieutenant Benjamin H. White
Fifth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry
Benjamin H. White had a distinguished career in the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, and the success of his career reveals that he was highly regarded by his fellow regimental members. Enlisting on September 17, 1861 as a Fourth Sergeant in Company E, he was promoted to Company Commissary Sergeant on New Year's Day, 1863. He became the regiment's Sergeant Major, their senior noncommissioned officer, on August 1, 1863.
The Confederates achieved quite a coup when they captured Sergeant Major White on July 30, 1864 at Newnan, Georgia. He served a portion of his imprisonment at Andersonville. Following his return to the regiment, the men of the regiment presented him with an engraved Colt 1849 31 caliber pistol. (This handgun has survived, and is in a private collection.)
Before mustering out on May 22, 1865 at Nashville, Tennessee, White received one more promotion. He was commissioned on March 9, 1865 as the First Lieutenant of Company H. Thus, having served in Companies E and H, as well as on the Regimental Field and Staff, Benjamin White completed his wartime service with distinction.