Benton Barracks

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Benton Barracks
St. Louis, Missouri
Benton Barracks, Parade March Poster, 1862
Type U.S. Military Post
Site history
Built August 1861
In use 1861-1865
Garrison information
Major-General John C. Fremont (1861)
Brigadier-General William T. Sherman (1861-1862)
Colonel Benjamin Bonneville (1862-1865)
Garrison Union Cavalry, Union Army

Benton Barracks was a Union Army military encampment, established during the American Civil War, in St. Louis, Missouri, at the present site of the St. Louis Fairground Park. Before the Civil War, the site was owned and used by the St. Louis Agricultural and Mechanical Association, which at the time was located on the outskirts of St. Louis. The barracks was used primarily as a training facility for Union soldiers attached to the Western Division of the Union Army.

After the Battle of Lexington, the Post and Convalescent Hospitals were added to the training barracks, in order to assist in treating hundreds of incoming wounded troops. Once the war ended, the barracks was dismantled, returning to its pre-war, civilian use as a fairground and race track. Nothing of the original barracks remains at this site today.


See Also: St. Louis Fairground Park

In 1861, Major-General John C. Fremont assumed command of the Western Department of War for the Union Army.[1] General Fremont ordered the establishment of a training barracks at the site of the St. Louis Fairgrounds.[1] The barracks originally consisted of five buildings, 740 ft. in length and 40 ft. in width.[1] Additionally, there was a two-story building erected for the headquarters of the Barracks Commander.[1] The barracks could accommodate up to 30,000 soldiers. By 1863, Benton contained over a mile of barracks, as well as warehouses, cavalry stables, parade grounds, and a large military hospital. The hospital was built from the converted amphitheater on the fairground site and could accommodate 2,000 to 3,000 soldiers at a time.


  1. ^ a b c d Winter 1994, pp. 73 - 75.


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