James Walker Benet
Colonel, United States Army
Walker Benet of Kentucky
Appointe from the District of Columbia, Cadet, United States Military Academy, 1 July 1875 (34)
Second Lieutenant, 15th U. S. Infantry, 12 June 1880
Transferred to the 5th U. S. Artillery, 18 March 1881
First Lieuenant, 18 July 1886
Transfered to the Ordnance Department, 26 October 1886
Captain, 12 June 1894
Born at Richmond, Kentucky, on July 16, 1857, the son of Brigadier General Stephen Vincent (Chief of Ordnance, United States Army) and Laura (Walker) Benet, he graduted from West Point in 1880 and from the Army Artillery School in 1884. He married Frances Neill Rose of Philadelphia on June 25, 1883.
Commissioned as Second Lieutenant, 15th United States Infantry, on June 12, 1880, he transferred to the 5th United States Artillery on March 18, 1881. He was promoted to First Lieutenant on July 18, 1886. He transferred to the Ordnance Department on October 26,1886 and was then promoted to Captain, June 12, 1894; Major, January 19, 1904; Lieutenant Colonel, August 9, 1907; and Colonel, August 5, 1911.
He was an assistant inspector at the Frankfort Arsenal, Philadelphia, 1890-94; Bethelem Iron Works, South Bethelem, Pennsylvania, 1894-98; Inspector, Ordnance Headquarters, Buffalo, New York, 1898-99; Watervliet Arsenal, New York, 1904-05; Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, 1904-05. He was commanding the Benicia, California, Arsenal and assigned as Armament Officer, Western Department, 1905-11. He commanded the Ordnance Training Corps, Camp Hancock, Augusta, Georia, June 1918-February 1919. Commanded Watervliet Arsenal, from March 1919. He was a member of the Loyal Legion; was an Agnostic. He is the father of the poet, Stephen Vincent Benet (who is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Stonington, Connecticut) poet and critic William Rose Benet and the writer Laura Benet.
His Uncle, Laurence Vincent Benet, Ensign, United States Navy, is also buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
He died on March 30, 1928 and was buried in
Section 6 of Arlington National Cemetery.
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, March 30, 1928 – Colonel James Walker Benet, USA, retired, father of William Rose and Stephen Vincent Benet, well-known authors, died today of heart disease at Westown, Pennsylvania, in his seventy-first year. He had been ill only four days. Burial will be in the National Cemetery at Arlington, Virginia.
Son of Brigadier General Stephen V. Benet, Chief of the Ordnance Department, United States Army, Colonel Benet followed his father’s footsteps literally, spending practically his entire life in the Ordnance Department. He was born in Richmond, Kentucky, on July 16, 1867, and graduated from West Point in 1880. Four years later he graduated from the artillery school.
He was transferred from his station at Fort
Hamilton, New York, in 1886 to the Ordnance Department. From 1890
to 1894 he was assistant at the Frankford Arsenal, Philadelphia, and from
1894 to 1898 he was at the Bethlehem Iron Works, South Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
He served in order named at Watervliet Arsenal, New York; Rock Island,
Illinois, Arsenal, Benicia, California, Arsenal and Augusta, Georgia, Arsenal,
then became commander of the Ordnance Training Corps and later returned
to Watervliet as Commander. He retired in 1921.
BENET, J WALKER
Updated: 5 November 2000 Updated: 6 July 2003 Updated: 5 May 2004 Updated: 10 Sepember 2005 Updated: 1 January 2006 Updated: 24 October 2007 Updated: 3 January 2008
Photos By M. R. Patterson, 22 April 2004