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R. H. Franchot

R. H. Franchot

Federal (USV)


Richard Hansen Franchot

(1816 - 1875)

Home State: New York

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 121st New York Infantry

Before Antietam

Educated at the Rensselaer Institute, Troy, NY (now RPI), he was later President of the Albany & Susquehanna Railroad. In 1861 he was elected to Congress (term from March 1861 - March 1863). Congressman Franchot was not nominated for reelection in 1862, so he relocated to Schenectady and raised the Regiment soon to become the 121st New York Infantry. He was appointed Colonel to date from 19 July 1862.

On the Campaign

He commanded the regiment in Maryland. The Regiment occupied Crampton's Gap after the fighting there was over, gathering stragglers and burying the dead. As a result they did not see combat at Antietam, arriving on the battlefield on the 18th of September.

The rest of the War

Franchot resigned his commission effective 25 September in favor of Emory Upton as his replacement. While successful as an organizer, Franchot had no previous military experience or training, and felt unequal to the task of combat leadership. He returned to Congress for the duration of his term. He was brevetted Brigadier General of Volunteers in March 1865 in honor of his service.

After the War

He was "associated" with the Central Pacific Railroad - as a paid lobbyist beginning in 1864 or 1865.

References & notes

Biographical details from his Congressional Biography1, with service details from Best2.


06/02/1816; Morris, NY


11/23/1875; Schenectady, NY; burial in Vale Cemetery, Schenectady, NY


1   US Congress, Congressional Biographical Directory, Published c. 2000, first accessed 01 January 2002, <>, Source page: /scripts/  [AotW citation 968]

2   Best, Isaac Oliver, History of the 121st New York State Infantry, Chicago: James H. Smith, 1921, pp. 22 - 23, 28, 232  [AotW citation 969]