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Federal (USV)


Frank E. Yates

(c. 1840 - ?)

Home State: Michigan

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: Signal Detachment, Army of the Potomac

Before Antietam

Probably from Ottawa County in western Michigan, he joined Ellsworth's Chicago Zouaves/United States Zouaves as a Cadet in August 1859 and toured the country with them in July and August of 1860. He enrolled 20 April 1861 as First Lieutenant of Company G of then-Colonel Ellsworth's First New York Zouaves (11th New York Infantry), but Ellsworth was killed on 24 May and Yates resigned on 15 June 1861. He enrolled again, and mustered as First Lieutenant of Company D, 73rd New York Infantry on 20 November 1861 at Camp Lawrence, MD. He was detailed to the Signal Corps in March 1862, assigned to the Second Army Corps, Army of the Potomac.

On the Campaign

On 4 September 1862 he was at Falls Church, VA but by 13 September he was on South Mountain in sight of Frederick. He was sent to Sugarloaf Mountain on the 20th.

The rest of the War

He was discharged on 11 December 1862.

After the War

In 1874 he was Captain of the Grand Haven Boat Club and "champion scull oarman of Michigan." By 1875 he was the agent at Grand Haven for the Goodrich Transportation Company, who ran steamships to and from Chicago on Lake Michigan. He attended the final reunion of Ellsworth's Zouaves in Chicago in October 1910. In 1911 the Annual Report of the Chicago Historical Society described him:

Notwithstanding his fifty years of civilian life since the war, Captain Yates has not abated a jot in his military bearing, but like the faithful disciple of Ellsworth that he is, he remains an adept fencer, and an active business man.

References & notes

His basic service from the State of New York,1 also as James E. Gates, with details from Brown.2 Maryland Campaign events from Captain B.F. Fisher's Report. Personal details from family genealogists, the Lowell [MI] Journal of 14 June 1874, Polk's Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory (1875), and J. Seymour Currey's Chicago: Its History and Its Builders (Vol. 2, 1912); he donated his Zouave Cadet's certificate to the Chicago Historical Society in 1911.

He married Ida M Anderson in Grand Haven, Ottawa County, Michigan in 1880.


c. 1840 in WI


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. 18, pg. 1222; For 1901, Ser. 28, p. 1140  [AotW citation 28690]

2   Brown, J. Willard, The Signal Corps, U.S.A. in the War of the Rebellion, Boston: U.S. Veteran Signal Corps Association, 1896, pp. 338, 901  [AotW citation 28691]