Lt. Col. Benjamin F. Johns
Photo Courtesy of Virgil Roberts
Lt. Col. B.F. Johns's grave
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Benjamin Franklin Johns was born in Amite County, Mississippi on March 9, 1830. After attending the common schools of Amite County he entered the Western Military Insititute of Kentucky, which he attended two years, receiving a fair English education. He was a school teacher for two years then began reading law. He was married on the 16th of December, 1852, to Miss Mildred Luckett, a native of Kentucky. In 1855 he was licensed to practice and opened an office at Liberty, Mississippi. In 1861 he enlisted in the Amite Rifles, who were offering their services to Mississippi's State Forces. He was elected Captain of the Company and was in time promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He served until the close of the hostilities in the Army of Tennessee and had an active part in the battles of Shiloh and Murfreesboro. It was at Murfreesboro he assumed field command of the 7th Mississippi Volunteer Infantry Regiment when the unit's Colonel was wounded and taken off the field. He fought at Chickamauga, the Chattanooga Siege, Missionary Ridge, and all the engagements of the Georgia campaign. He was given field command of the 9th Mississippi Infantry during the Atlanta siege and lead that Regiment during the battle of Atlanta. He fought at Franklin and Nashville in General John Bell Hood's Tennessee Campaign of 1864 and it was at Franklin where he again took command of the 7th Regiment after the unit's Colonel was killed in action. He was wounded at Nashville and was sent home to recover. He was paroled at Liberty and once more took up the practice of law. In 1866 he was elected to the office of probate judge. In 1875 he was elected to the Legislature of Mississippi and served during the sitting of 1876 and 1877. In 1880 he was reelected to this position, and was chosen Speaker of the House. By 1887 he had located his law office to Gloster, Mississippi. He served as mayor of Gloster and also held other minor positions. Colonel and Mrs. Johns had four children. Mrs. Johns is remembered as a worthy member of the Baptist church, and Colonel Johns was a long time member of the Masonic fraternity, in which he attained to the Council Degree and served as High Priest and Master of the Blue lodge. Colonel Johns died on December 31, 1907 at Gloster, Amite County, Mississippi and was buried there in Roseland Cemetery.