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Federal (USV)


William W. French

(1841 - 1900)

Home State: New Hampshire

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 6th New Hampshire Infantry

Before Antietam

Age 20, from Enfield, NH, he mustered as Private, Company B, 6th New Hampshire Infantry on 26 October 1861.

On the Campaign

At Antietam on 17 September 1862:

While our men were exchanging shots with the enemy, both parties being posted behind trees, logs, or anything else to cover their heads, Sergeant Rand of Company K came along to W. W. French of Company B, who was behind a tree, loading and firing as fast as he could, and requested the latter to step back and load both rifles and let him do the firing awhile for both, as he considered himself a "good shot." French consented, and Rand took his stand at the tree. French passed the rifle up to Rand, who stepped to one side to get a better view of his man, but the "reb" was too quick for him, and shot him in the forehead, killing him almost instantly. He fell over upon French, and both rolled partially down the hill. French, laying his dead comrade aside, took his place at the tree again, but was careful not to let the "Johnnies" get the first shot at him. There was something exciting in thus exchanging shots for an hour or so, with an enemy posted three or four hundred yards away, and where you could only now and then get a glimpse of him. This was sometimes carried on by the pickets and sharpshooters for hours, till one or the other was shot, and then the fun was over.

The rest of the War

He was wounded in action at Fredericksburg, VA on 13 December 1862 and discharged for wounds on 2 September 1863 at Concord, NH.

After the War

He lived in Enfield, NH.

References & notes

Service from Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire.1 The quote above from Jackman's History. 2 His gravesite is on Findagrave.


01/26/1841; Enfield, NH


12/12/1900; Enfield, NH; burial in Oak Grove Cemetery, Enfield, NH


1   State of New Hampshire, Adjutant-General's Office, and Augustus D. Ayling, AG, Revised Register of the Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire in the War of the Rebellion 1861-1866 , 2 Volumes, Concord: Ira C. Evans, Public Printer, 1895, pg. 306  [AotW citation 20290]

2   Jackman, Lyman, History of the Sixth New Hampshire Regiment in the War for the Union, Concord (NH): Republican Press Association, 1891, pp. 108-109  [AotW citation 20291]