Private William Bensinger, Company G, 21st Regiment Ohio Volunteers
Bensinger was duly sworn and examined as follows:
Question. Will you state your position in the service?
I am a private in Co. G, 25th Ohio Infantry.
Question. In what part of the State did you enlist, and when, and for how long a
I enlisted in Hancock County, Ohio, on the 21st of August, 1861, for three
Question. Were you a member of this secret expedition sent out by Gen. Mitchell?
Question. Under what circumstances did you become a member of it?
The day before we started my captain called me one side and told me that he
wanted me to report to the colonel the next morning. I asked him if he knew what
the colonel wanted with me. He said he supposed it was for a secret expedition,
but he could not tell me what. I told him I would go, and reported to the
colonel as ordered. The colonel gave me a pass and directed me to report to Mr.
Andrews at Shelbyville, at a hotel there. The colonel told me I was to obey the
orders of Mr. Andrews, and also told me to procure citizen's clothes, which I
did. I went to Shelbyville and reported there, and on the evening of the 7th of
April we left. Four of us arrived at Marietta about 4 o'clock in the afternoon
on the 11th of April. As I learned afterward, the rest got there some time in
the night. The next morning we took the train back, paying our fare to Big
Shanty; and while they were at breakfast there we seized the train.
Question. You have heard the statements of the witnesses who have testified here
in regard to the subsequent events of the expedition, and the facts connected
with their confinement in the prisons of the South until you were exchanged at
Question. Do you consider these statements correct, and in accordance with your
recollections of the facts?
I do; for I have had personal knowledge of them, and have been with these
witnesses throughout the period of their confinement.
Question. Where was Gen. Mitchell's headquarters at the time this expedition set
It was close by the town of Shelbyville, Tennessee, and just across the
river-probably forty rods from the town.
Question. Are you acquainted with Sergt. E. A. Mason of Company K, 21st Ohio
Question. Was he with you as a member of the expedition, and with you during
your confinement in the South?
Question. Where is he, and why is he not here with you to-day?
He is in the city, but confined to his room, on account of sickness.
Company G, 21st Ohio volunteers.
Ohio boys in Dixie: the adventures of twenty-two scouts
sent by Gen. O. M. Mitchell to destroy a railroad; with a narrative of their
barbarous treatment by the Rebels and Judge Holt's report,
New York: Miller & Mathews,1863