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Federal (USV)


William Rankin

(1838 - 1919)

Home State: New York

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 21st New York Infantry

Before Antietam

Son of a minister, he enlisted in Buffalo at age 23 on 7 May 1861 to serve two years, and mustered in on 20 May as a Private in Company F, 21st New York Infantry. He was promoted to Corporal on 1 August 1861.

On the Campaign

He was wounded in the right hand in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Sergeant on 1 November 1862 and mustered out with his Company on 18 May 1863.

After the War

In 1865 he was a farmer living with his parents in Pendleton, Niagara County, NY, but was working his own substantial farm there in 1870. By 1875 he was a fish dealer in the Elk Street Market in Buffalo, NY and was still there in 1880. In 1900 he was a time keeper in Buffalo and had retired there by 1910.

References & notes

His service from the Adjutant General,1 with wound detail from the Chronicles.2 Personal details from family genealogists, the New York State Census of 1865 and 1875, and the US Census of 1800-1910. His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He married Mary Louise Wilson (1848-1904) in June 1865 and they had 6 children.


04/06/1838; Fort Wayne, IN


01/29/1919; Buffalo, NY; burial in Forest Lawn, Buffalo, NY


1   State of New York, Adjutant-General, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York [year]: Registers of the [units], 43 Volumes, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer, 1893-1905, For the Year 1899, Ser. No. 20, pg. 274  [AotW citation 28204]

2   Mills, John Harrison, and 21st Regiment Veteran Association of Buffalo, Chronicles of the Twenty-first Regiment New York State Volunteers, Buffalo: 21st Reg't. Veteran Association of Buffalo, 1887, pg. 294  [AotW citation 28205]