Brevetted Brigadier General - Paymaster General - Brevetted Major General

Born in Harrison County, (West) Virginia, November 30, 1806.

Compiled by Linda Fluharty.



BENJAMIN W. BRICE, born 30 November 1806 in Harrison County, (West) Virginia, was the son of John Jones Brice, a physician, and Anne Wilson, married in Harrison County 6 January 1806. His middle name is found as both William and Wilson. His death record states the middle name was Wilson.

Biographies of General Brice's parents and General Brice are found in History of Licking County, O., Its Past and Present Containing a Condensed, Comprehensive History of Ohio, Including an Outline History of the Northwest, 1881:

BRICE, DR. JOHN J., was one of the early settlers of Newark, and for many years was one of the best known citizens of our county and of central Ohio. His father (William Brice) was a native of Maryland, who, however, removed to Alexandria, Virginia, where he was engaged in the milling business and in merchandising at the time of his death, on which occurred about the year 1786. He left a widow and five children, of which the subject of this sketch (born in'781) was the youngest. Some years after the death of William Brice, his widow, with her five children, removed to western Pennsylvania, where her three daughters were married, and where she died to 1817. Her oldest son, Benjamin J. Brice removed to Harrison county, western Virginia, where he married Sarah, daughter of Colonel Benjamin Wilson, reared a large family, and closed an unusually long, active and useful life.

John J. Brice, by the judicious use of his patrimony, was enabled to acquire a good education, professional and otherwise. He studied medicine with Dr. Mowry of Pittsburgh, and it is said was a medical student, for a time in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. He also attended a course of medical lectures in Philadelphia, and was afterward associated in the practice of his profession with Dr. Mowry, his preceptor, who was a physician of much repute. Dr. Brice, however, soon decided to make a permanent location in the west, and with that view, travelled in that direction as far as Lawrenceburg, a small town on the banks of the Ohio river, below the mouth of the Big Miami, in the then Indiana territory. On his way back he traveled on horseback through Ohio, and took Newark in his route, where, tarrying for a short time, a great demand existed for his professional services, and he did not leave until the sickness which then prevailed both in town and country had, in a great measure, subsided. This was in the autumn of 1805 (although it is elsewhere stated on the authority of Dr. J. N. Wilson, that it was probably in 1803), and about the beginning of winter he returned to Harrison county, Virginia, where he, in January, 1806, consummated a previously existing matrimonial engagement with Anne, daughter of Colonel Benjamin Wilson, of said locality. He still intended to locate at Lawrenceburg, and came here shortly after his marriage, to close up his business, by collecting his accounts, and getting ready for the removal. But not being very successful in making collections, he, while thus engaged, was again drawn into practice, and it is quite likely that the longer he remained the less probable it became that he would ever become a citizen of Indiana territory.

Thus the summer of 1806 wore away, also the autumn and a portion of the winter succeeding, when in February, 1807, he brought his wife to Newark, she having until this time remained at her father's, where, on the thirtieth of November, she had given birth to her only son, Benjamin W. Brice, now a resident of Baltimore. The first house, or rather cabin, they occupied.. stood on the west side of First street, between Main and Church. Dr. Brice practiced his profession in Newark for nearly half a century, and his methods and merits as a physician are presented much at length in liberal quotations from the essay of the late Dr. J. N. Wilson on the diseases and mode of treatment, in early times in Newark and the Licking valley. It may be well to say in addition, that he was a faithful, careful, judicious and successful practitioner that in the vigor of life he possessed and exercised remarkable skill, care and judgment in his profession, backed by the accumulating and constantly, increasing acquirements of a careful student, as well as rigid analysis and judicious deductions from all the notable cases coming under his treatment. His talents, attainments and skill were recognized in high ,quarters, professional and nonprofessional. Dr. Brice was an eminently practical man in the management of business matters; and it is not surprising that one so energetic, industrious, and frugal, and of such sound judgment should have accumulated a large estate, so that at his death he was one of the wealthiest men in Licking county. During the last twenty years of his life he was a member of the Presbyterian church, and died in December, 1853, aged seventy-two years.

BRICE, MRS. ANNE, wife of Dr. Brice, was a daughter of Colonel Benjamin Wilson, a gentleman of wealth and distinction of Harrison county, Virginia, and was born there January 17, 1786. She was married to Dr. John J. Brice in January, 1806, and became a resident of Newark, Ohio, in February, 1807. The beginning of her career here was specially marked by the cheerful resignation and almost heroic fortitude with which she embraced the new life in the .west. Reared at her father's home in Virginia, in the midst of abundance, surrounded with every necessary comfort, including a superfluity of house and other servants, never subjected to cares or drudgery of any kind, she was transplanted from that comfortable home in mid-winter, with an infant child in arms, a distance of one hundred and seventy miles, for the most part on horseback, through an almost utter wilderness country, to Newark, which was then but the mere beginning of a frontier village. Here she was domiciled in the crudest. of log cabins, where the accustomed comforts to .which she was used were an impossibility, the means to supply the commonest wants and necessities, not always available. She had to assume the duties and cares of housekeeping under all their embarrassments without the help of a single servant, and with little else to make her situation tolerable. Still, though sorely exercised and grieved in mind by the prospect before her, she never thought of yielding to discouragement, never .indulged in repinings, but nerved herself to a cheerful acceptance of the situation, sustained by an unfaltering confidence that the ability, energy and industry of her young husband would : command success, and that their many privations and hardships would be but short lived. That hope n was not disappointed. Throughout her life she devoted herself religiously to all her duties as wife, mother and friend, abounding always in sympathetic interest for her neighbors, and ever beneficently open-handed to help those about her who needed help. Mrs. Brice became a member of the Presbyterian church in 1833, and died in July, 1849, in the sixty-fourth year of her age.

BRICE, GENERAL BENJAMIN W. - General Brice was born in Harrison county, Virginia, November 30, 1806; and is the son of Dr. John J. Brice and Mrs. Anne Brice, who brought him to Newark in February, 1807. He attended the common schools of Newark, also the classical school taught by Rev. Thomas D. Baird, where he had for his associate pupils, Dr. J. N. Wilson, John Cunningham, Elijah Stadden, James R Stanbery and others. He and the last named were also fellow-students at Bishop Chase's school at Worthington, Ohio, as well as that of Philander Chase, jr., at Zanesville. Both entered the Ohio university, at Athens, Ohio, where the subject of this sketch was a sophomore, when, July 1, 1825, he was appointed a cadet at the United States military school at West Point, and where he was graduated July 1, 1829, and promoted in the army brevet second lieutenant Third infantry. Cadet Brice, as appears from "Cullom's Biographical Register of the officers and graduates of the United States military academy," (to which we are indebted for the military history of General Brice), served on frontier duty at Jefferson barracks in 1829-30, at Fort Armstrong, upper Mississippi, 1830-31, and on an expedition against the Sac and Fox Indians in 1831 this being the first Black Hawk campaign under General Gaines. He resigned in 1832 and engaged in merchandising in Newark. He served as brigade major of Ohio militia from 1835 to 1839; was admitted to the bar in 1845, and elected associate judge of the common pleas court of Licking county in the same year, serving two years; at the beginning of the Mexican war in 1846 he was appointed adjutant general. On the third of March, 1847, General Brice was reappointed in the United States army major of staff paymaster, and placed on duty in pay department at Cincinnati the same year; and in service in the Mexican war at Carmago in 1847, and at Monterey, Saltillo and Brazos Island in 1848, also at Fort Brown, Texas, in 1848-49; disbanded March 4, 1849, by limitation of law. General Brice was re-appointed in the United States army with rank of major staff paymaster February 9, 1852, and served in the pay department in the southern district of New Mexico, with headquarters at Fort Fillmore, New Mexico, from 1852 to 1854. During 1854, '55 '56 his headquarters were at New Orleans, Louisiana, and from 1856 to 1859 at Fort Bliss (El Paso), in the southern district of New Mexico. He was also on special duty a portion of 1859 in Florida. From 1859 to 1861 he served in the district of "Kansas and the territories," his headquarters being Fort Leavenworth. General Brice remained in the service during the first year of the great Rebellion, serving as chief of the pay district of Kansas and the territories, and in 1862 was transferred to the district of Pennsylvania, embracing New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia, with headquarters at Baltimore, Maryland, where he served as chief until 1864. On the fourth of October, 1864, he was placed at the head of the pay department of the army at Washington city, District Columbia remaining in that position until January 1, 1872, when he was retired from active service at his own request, under the law of July 17, 1862, having passed the age of sixty-two years. General Brice was promoted paymaster-general, with rank of colonel, November 29, 1864; breveted brigadier general United States army, December 2, 1864; also brigadier general staff paymaster general July 28, 1866. General B. W. Brice was brevetted March 13, 1865, major general of United States army for "faithful, meritorious and distinguished services in the pay department during the Rebellion." General B. W. Brice has entered his seventy-fifth year, and with his accomplished and kindly remembered wife, is living leisurely in dignified retirement (otium cum digenitate), in Baltimore, Maryland, not forgetting, however, to make occasional visits to Newark, Ohio, which he now regards, and has ever regarded, as his home, and where he is always certain of a cordial greeting by his many old-time congenial friends, and to which his urbanity, geniality, intelligence and fine conversational powers justly entitle him.



This should read BRICE, not PRICE.
Pres. Johnson retired him for political reasons; Pres. Grant reinstated him.






NOTE: Numerous records on Fold3 are indexed as "B. W. Price" rather than B. W. BRICE.
Here's an example: Incorrectly indexed as Price