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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1843

Vol. II

(Born Pa.)

William B. Franklin

(Ap'd Pa.)


William Buel Franklin: Born Feb. 27, 1823.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1839, to July 1, 1843, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut., Top. Engineers, July 1, 1843.

Served: as Asst. Topographical Engineer on Survey of Northwestern Lakes, 1843‑45; as Topographical Officer on General Kearny's Expedition to South Pass of the Rocky Mountains, 1845; as Assistant in Topographical Bureau at Washington, D. C., 1845‑46; as Topographical Engineer

(Second Lieut., Top. Engineers, Sep. 21, 1846)

on Survey of Ossabaw Sound, Ga., 1846; in the War with Mexico, 1846‑48, being engaged in General Wool's March through Coahuila, 1846‑47, — and Battle of Buena Vista, Feb. 22‑23, 1847; at the Military

(Bvt. First Lieut., Feb. 23, 1847,
for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in the Battle of Buena Vista, Mex.)

Academy, as Asst. Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, July 21, 1848, to June 17, 1851, and from Aug. 29, 1851, to Jan. 9, 1852; on leave of absence, 1852;​1 as Topographical Engineer on Survey of Roanoke Inlet, N. C., with reference to opening it, 1852; in charge of Oswego Harbor Improvement, N. Y., 1852‑53; as Light-house Inspector, 1st District,

(First Lieut., Top. Engineers, Mar. 3, 1853)

Jan. 21, 1853, to July, 1856; as Superintending Engineer of Portland, Me., Custom House and Marine Hospital, Apr. 19, 1855, to Oct. 1, 1857;  p153 as Light-house Engineer, 1st and 2d Districts, July, 1856, to Oct., 1857;

(Captain, Top. Engineers, July 1, 1857, for Fourteen Years' Continuous Service)

as Engineer Secretary of the Light-house Board at Washington, D. C., Mar. 2, 1857, to Nov. 1, 1859; as Member of a Board of Officers for the location and construction of a Bridge across the Mississippi, at Rock Island, Ill., Apr. to May, 1859; as Superintending Engineer in charge of the Extension of the Capitol (including new dome), and of the General Post Office, Washington, D. C., Nov. 1, 1859, to Mar. 3, 1861; and as Chief of the Construction Bureau of the U. S. Treasury Department, and Superintending Engineer of Treasury Building Extension, Mar. 3 to May 14, 1861.

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1861‑66: in receiving

(Colonel, 12th Infantry, May 14, 1861)

and forwarding Volunteers at New York city, May 17 to June 30,

(Brig.‑General, U. S. Volunteers, May 17, 1861)

1861; in command of Brigade in the Manassas Campaign of July, 1861, being engaged in the Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861; in command at Alexandria, Va., Aug. 1 to Sep. 1, 1861; in command of Division in the Defenses of Washington, D. C., Sep., 1861, to Mar., 1862; in the Virginia Peninsular Campaign (Army of the Potomac), in command of Division, Mar. to May, 1862, and of 6th Army Corps, May to Aug., 1862, being engaged in the Siege of Yorktown, Apr. 5 to May 4, 1862, — Combat of West Point, May 8, 1862 (in command), — Action at Golding's Farm, June 28, 1862, — and Battle of White Oak Bridge, June 30, 1862, — and was present at the Battle of Savage Station,

(Bvt. Brig.‑General, U. S. Army, June 30, 1862,
for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in the Battle before Richmond, Va.)

June 29, 1862, — Battle of Malvern Hill, July 1, 1862, — and Skirmish at Harrison's Landing, July 2, 1862; in the Maryland Campaign, commanding 6th Corps (Army of the Potomac), Sep. to Nov., 1862, being

(Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, July 4, 1862)

engaged and in command in the Battle of Crampton's Gap, South Mountain, Sep. 14, 1862, — Battle of Antietam, Sep. 17, 1862, — and March to Falmouth, Oct. to Nov., 1862; in the Rappahannock Campaign, Dec., 1862, to Jan. 24, 1863, in command of Left Grand Division (1st and 6th Corps), of the Army of the Potomac, being engaged in the Battle of Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862; awaiting orders, Jan. 24 to June 27, 1863; in Operations in the Department of the Gulf, June 27, 1863, to Apr. 29, 1864, being in command of the troops in and about Baton Rouge, La., July 28 to Aug. 15, 1863, — Expedition to Sabine Pass, Tex., Sep., 1863, — and in command of 19th Army Corps, and of the troops in Western Louisiana, Aug. 15, 1863, to Apr. 29, 1864; in the Red River Expedition, Apr., 1864, being engaged in the Battle of Sabine Cross Roads, Apr. 8, 1864, where he was wounded, — Battle of Pleasant Hill, Apr. 9, 1864, — and Action of Monette's Crossing, of Cane River, Apr. 23, 1864; on sick leave of absence, Apr. 29 to Dec. 2, 1864, during which he was captured by Rebel Raiders in the Philadelphia and Baltimore Railroad cars, July 11, 1864, but escaped from them during the next night; as President of the Board for Retiring Disabled Officers, at Wilmington, Del., Dec. 2, 1864, to Nov. 10, 1865; and on leave of absence,

(Bvt. Major-General, U. S. Army, Mar. 13, 1865,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services in the Field during the Rebellion)

Nov. 10, 1865, to Mar. 15, 1866.

Resigned, Mar. 15, 1866.

 p154  Civil History. — Vice-President and General Agent of Colt's Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company, at Hartford, Ct., Nov. 15, 1865, to Apr. 1, 1888. President of the Board of Visitors to the U. S. Military Academy, 1868. President of Commission for building a new Capitol at Hartford, Ct., 1872‑73; Consulting Engineer, 1873‑77; and Superintendent, Jan. 1, 1877, to Mar. 1, 1880. Member of Hartford Board of Water Commissioners, 1873‑78. President of Board of Engineers and Architects for examination of U. S. Custom House, at Chicago, Ill., 1875. Chairman of Committee of Judges on Engineering and Architecture, at the Centennial Exposition, 1876. Presidential Elector of the State of Connecticut, 1876. Adjutant-General of the State of Connecticut, Jan. 1, 1877, to Dec. 31, 1878. President of the Board of Managers of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, since July 8, 1880. Commissioner-General of the United States for the International Exposition at Paris, France, since June 26, 1888. Appointed, Oct. 20, 1889, Grand Officer of the French Legion of Honor. Residence, Hartford, Ct.

Vol. IV
[Supplement, Vol. IV: 1890‑1900]

Civil History. — President of the Board of Managers of the National Soldier's Home, — residence, Hartford, Conn.

Vol. V
[Supplement, Vol. V: 1900‑1910]

Civil History. — President of the Board of Managers of the National Soldier's Home, — residence, Hartford, Conn.

Died March 8, 1903, at Hartford, Conn.: Aged 80.

See Annual Association of Graduates, U. S. M. A., 1903, for an obituary notice.

Buried, Prospect Hill Cemetery, York, PA.

The Author's Note:

1 While on leave of absence, was Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, and of Civil Engineering, at the Free Academy, New York city, Feb. 20 to Apr. 21, 1852.

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Page updated: 15 Feb 13