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J.W. Franks

J.W. Franks

Confederate (CSV)


John Wesley Franks


(c. 1835 - 1862)

Home State: South Carolina

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 7th South Carolina Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

In 1860 he was a 25 year old mechanic living on his father-in-law's farm in Longmires in the Edgefield District. He enlisted as First Corporal, Company K, 7th South Carolina Infantry on 15 April 1861 and was promoted to Sergeant on 25 March 1862. He was reduced to Private on 13 May 1862 at the reorganization of the regiment.

On the Campaign

He was mortally wounded by artillery fire at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862 and died the next day. He was promoted again to Corporal to date from 18 September.

The rest of the War

He was originally buried on the field by his brother-in-law John Lewis Wilhite (1830-1912) and probably relocated to Hagerstown in about 1874.

References & notes

Burial information from Pruett1. His service from Swain.2 Personal details from family genealogists and the 1860 US Census. He's seen as Jack Lewis Franks on his daughter's 1940 death certificate, and at least one genealogist has him as John Wesley Lewis Franks. His memorial is on Findagrave, source of some death details. It is also the source of his picture, from a photograph contributed by user JFJN.

He married Jane R. Wilhite (c. 1828-c. 1860) in 1854 and they had 2 children, Lewis and Alice, who were 7 and 4, respectively, in 1862. Jane does not appear with the family in the 1860 Census and may have died by then or in 1862, soon after her husband. Her orphaned children were probably raised by an uncle in Georgia.

J.L. Wilhite had war service in Company E of the 9th Georgia Infantry Battalion (3/62 - 5/63), then Company H of the 37th Georgia Infantry. It's not clear what his role was at Sharpsburg. Another brother-in-law, Thomas Turner Wilhite (1826-1885), had been in Company K of the 7th SC Infantry earlier in 1862, but was probably not with them in Maryland.


c. 1835; Edgefield District, SC


09/18/1862; Sharpsburg, MD; burial in Washington Confederate Cemetery, Hagerstown, MD


1   Pruett, Samuel, and Poffenberger & Good, Greg Farino and Western Maryland Regional Library (WMRL), Washington Confederate Cemetery, possible burials, Hagerstown (MD): WHILBR, 2010  [AotW citation 4449]

2   Swain, Sr., Glen Allan, The Bloody 7th, Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot Publishing Company, 2014, pg. 508  [AotW citation 24512]