Benjamin Thomas Person was born 16 September 1833 to Thomas and Sally (Tarver) Person. He served with Company H, Ninth North Carolina (First Cavalry) Regiment for the Confederate States of America and was promoted First Lieutenant. He lived and practiced medicine for many years in the Stantonsburg area, and was in Wilson by 1896 where he served as postmaster from 1903 to 1914. He married Elizabeth Lee Kennedy in 1871, and they had three children: Thomas Lee, Sarah Elizabeth, and William Kennedy. Person died 2 January 1916 in Wayne County, North Carolina.
“Dr. Tom,” as he was known, became something of a legend in Wilson and adjacent counties, particularly after leading several ex-Confederates into Goldsboro. The events were: about daylight, Andrew Wilson ambushed and almost killed a young hired hand at the Coley farm, having mistaken him for ex-calvaryman Frank Coley, who had been active in protecting his friends and neighbors from the foraging Yankees. Within an hour, three or four ex-Confederates were in pursuit, led by Dr. Tom. They found Wilson in Goldsboro at the crossing of two railroads. In a rapid exchange of fire, Person left Wilson dying on the steps of a store as the group rapidly galloped out of town with a band of Federal cavalry in hot pursuit. For the next two or three years, Person was forced to keep on the move among friends and relatives to avoid capture from military patrol searches. The Federal finally abandoned their efforts around 1871.