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Federal (USV)


Franklin B. Wakefield

(1837 - 1929)

Home State: Illinois

Branch of Service: Cavalry

Unit: 8th Illinois Cavalry

Before Antietam

He was raised in Maine but in 1860 was a 24 year old teacher in the farming community of Washington in Carroll County, on the Mississippi River in north-western Illinois. On 14 September 1861, giving his residence as Chicago, he enlisted as Private, Company G, 8th Illinois Cavalry.

On the Campaign

In action at the Quebec Schoolhouse near Middletown, MD on 13 September 1862 ...

F. B. Wakefield of Company G, was taken prisoner by the rebels, who after taking him a short distance attempted to kill him. They gave him several cuts over the head with sabres, and leaving him for dead fled for fear of pursuit.

He, however, rallied and made his way into our lines. For this brutal treatment he swore vengeance on his would-be murderers, and it is said that he well redeemed his pledge and satisfied his wrath ...

The rest of the War

He was treated at a field hospital in Middletown, MD. He was discharged on 14 July 1863 for promotion and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, Company M, 16th Illinois Cavalry on 1 August 1863. He was promoted to Captain on 8 June 1865 but did not muster at that rank. He mustered out with his Company on 19 August 1865 at Nashville, TN.

After the War

By 1900 and to at least 1910 he was a life insurance agent in Cincinnati, OH. He began receiving a small veteran's pension in April 1907. In 1917, at 80 years old, he was admitted to the US National Home for Volunteer Soldiers in Dayton, OH, and was there until December 1928. His admission record noted as disabilities "sabre cuts" on his head and right side of his chest, and a gunshot wound to his right knee. He lived nearly 92 years.

References & notes

His service from the Adjutant General,1 which also has him as Franklin P. Wakefield. The quote above from Hard.2 Personal details from family genealogists, the Soldier Home logs, and the US Census for 1860-1920. His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He married Augusta Catherine Trimble (1845-1913) in March 1864 in Cincinnati and they had a son, Harry (1873-1919).


03/17/1837; Mercer, ME


02/06/1929; Dayton, OH; burial in Dayton National Cemetery, Dayton, OH


1   State of Illinois, Adjutant General, and J.N Reece, Brig. Gen, Adjutant General, Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois (1861-66), 9 volumes, Springfield: Journal Company, Printers and Binders (State Printer), 1900-1902, Vol. 8, pp. 130, 555, 556  [AotW citation 25312]

2   Hard, Abner, History of the Eighth Cavalry Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, Aurora, IL: Abner Hard, 1868, pg. 176  [AotW citation 25313]