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Federal (USV)


John Davis Frank

(1829 - 1908)

Home State: New York

Command Billet: Battery Commander

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: 1st New York Light Artillery, Battery G


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

He came to America in about 1846. On 1 December 1848, by then a 21 (19?) year old weaver, he enlisted in New York City as a Private in Battery A, 2nd United States Artillery. He reenlisted with Major Sedgwick at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, MD on 1 October 1853, then First Sergeant of the battery, and reenlisted again, with Lt Robertson, at Fort Leavenworth, KS on 1 September 1858. He was discharged under special orders on 26 September 1861.

At age 32, he enrolled and mustered on 21 October 1861 in Elmira, NY as Captain of Battery G, First New York Light Artillery. He was reported an "extreme and severe disciplinarian." In the "spring of 1862 every man in the Battery except one signed a petition asking that he be removed due to his 'harsh and unjust treatment' of the men under his command. A private conversation between Captain Frank and his Corps commander, Major General Sumner, seems to have fixed the problem as the men had no more complaints of Captain Frank's behavior from that time forward."

On the Campaign

He commanded the battery in Maryland.

The rest of the War

He continued in command of the battery at Fredericksburg, VA in December 1862 and was discharged for disability on 4 April 1863.

After the War

By 1870 and to at least 1900 he was a farmer in Lamartine, Fond du Lac County, WI.

References & notes

The quotes above from a bio of battery G Lieutenant Frederick F Goff from the Orange County CWRT [now offline]. His service from Phisterer,1 the Adjutant General,2 and the Registers,3 source also of his middle name. Personal details from family genealogists and the US Census of 1870-1900. His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He married Amelia W Betz (1837-1909) and they had 6 or 7 children between 1861 and 1875.

More on the Web

A highly decorated dress sword presented to him by the men of his battery in February 1862 was sold by Heritage Auctions in June 2012.


06/1829; Wurtenburg, GERMANY


1908; burial in Lamartine Cemetery, Lamartine, WI


1   Phisterer, Frederick, New York in the War of the Rebellion, 6 volumes, Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1909-12, Vol. 2, pg. 1216  [AotW citation 1043]

2   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 1896, Vol. 2, pg. 147  [AotW citation 29417]

3   US Army, Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798-1914, Washington, DC: National Archives, 1956, Vol. 048, pg. 82; V 49/p 66; V 53/p 70  [AotW citation 29418]