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F.N. Wicker

F.N. Wicker

Federal (USV)


Franklin Newell Wicker


(1838 - 1903)

Home State: New York

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: Signal Detachment, Army of the Potomac

Before Antietam

In 1860 he was a 21 year old carpenter living in his mother-in-law's home in Lockport, Niagara County, NY. He enrolled there on 25 April 1861 and was mustered as 2nd Lieutenant, Company C, 28th New York Infantry on 22 May. He was detailed to the Signal Corps in August 1861 and was promoted to First Lieutenant of Company A on 30 January 1862.

On the Campaign

By 10 September 1862 he was near Barnesville, MD with Captain Fisher, on Sugarloaf Mountain on the 11th, and on South Mountain on the 14th. He joined General Burnside on the march from South Mountain to Sharpsburg on the 15th and was at Keedysville on the 16th. He was on the battlefield of Antietam on 17 September 1862, at one point on Roulette's farm immediately behind the battle line. He was again with Burnside, on the Federal left on the 18th, and was near the battlefield through at least 20 September.

The rest of the War

He was in Georgetown, DC in January 1863 and commissioned First Lieutenant, Signal Corps, USA to date from 3 March 1863. He was in action again at Chancellorsville, VA in May and at Gettysburg in July 1863, and with the US Military Telegraph in New Orleans from January to July 1864. His commission expired on 4 July and he was re-commissioned, as a 2nd Lieutenant (to date back to March 1863). He was honored by brevet to First Lieutenant, USA in March 1865 for his war service and mustered out on 22 August 1865.

After the War

He was on the Russian–American Telegraph project (1865-67) and was appointed US Treasury Agent to Alaska (1868-1870). He was then at Key West, FL to 1873 when he was appointed Collector of Customs there (1873-1884). He was appointed Chinese Inspector for the Port of New Orleans in about 1891 and was appointed Appraiser of the Port in about 1898.

References & notes

His basic service from the State of New York1 and Heitman,2 with details from Brown,3 source also of his picture. Maryland Campaign events from Captain B.F. Fisher's Report. Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1860-1900, and his obituary in the New Orleans Item of 7 February 1903.

He married Hattie Pomeroy Spaulding (1842-1902) in 1860 and they had 3 children.

By about 1870 he was using the title Colonel, though it's not clear where that came from.

More on the Web

See a piece in the New York Times of 18 May 1884 about his removal as Collector at Key West.

His wartime and post-war diary is among his family papers in the Historic New Orleans Collection [via their Quarterly, Spring 2000, in PDF].


05/06/1838; Akron, NY


02/06/1903; New Orleans, LA; burial in Covington Cemetery, Covington, LA


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. 21, pg. 407  [AotW citation 28701]

2   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 1033  [AotW citation 28702]

3   Brown, J. Willard, The Signal Corps, U.S.A. in the War of the Rebellion, Boston: U.S. Veteran Signal Corps Association, 1896, before pg. 585; pp. 332, 333, 652, 895  [AotW citation 28703]