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F. Wheaton

F. Wheaton

Federal (USV)


Frank Wheaton

(1833 - 1903)

Home State: Rhode Island

Education: Brown University

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Cavalry

Unit: 2nd Rhode Island Infantry

Before Antietam

A former civil engineering student, he served 5 years on the Mexican-American Boundary Commission and then was commissioned First Lieutenant, First US Cavalry in 1855 and had service in the West. He was promoted to Captain and transferred to the 4th US Cavalry in 1861. He was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel of the 2nd Rhode Island Infantry on 10 July and Colonel to date from the first battle of Manassas (21 July 1861).

On the Campaign

He commanded the regiment in Maryland. They were not engaged at Antietam, having arrived on the field about 11 a.m. on 18 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers on 29 November 1862 and commanded the 3rd Brigade/3rd Division/VI Corps at Chancellorsville. He led the 3rd Division at Gettysburg, and a Brigade in the Second Division, VI Corps at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg. He was also promoted to Major in the Regular Army in 1863. He mustered out of the Volunteer service in 1865.

After the War

He continued in Regular Army service, and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the 39th US Infantry on 28 July 1866, and was in action against the Modocs in 1873, but was relieved afterward of further combat command. He was appointed Colonel of the 2nd US Infantry on 15 December 1874 and appointed Brigadier General USA on 18 April 1892. He was selected Major General on 2 April 1897 and retired a month later.

References & notes

His service from Heitman.1 Personal details from family genealogists, at least one of whom has him as Francis Wheaton (his father's name), but without documentation. His picture from a photograph on Generals and Brevets. His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He married Sarah Maria Cooper (1836-1858) in February 1857 and they had a daughter Sarah Marie (1858-1930). He married, secondly, Emma Twiggs Mason (1836-1864) in November 1861. He married again, Maria Bleecker Miller (1846-1924) in January 1867, and they had 6 children by 1882, only one of whom survived to adulthood. She was Octavia Macomb Wheaton (1879-1960).

His first father-in-law was General Samuel Cooper, former Adjutant General of the U.S. Army and the Confederacy's senior full General and Adjutant and Inspector General.

More on the Web

A sword presented to him by the men of the 2nd Rhode Island in December 1862 is in the collection of the National Museum of American History.

He was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in 2003.


05/08/1833; Providence, RI


06/18/1903; Washington, DC; burial in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA


1   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. 1022  [AotW citation 26053]