(1827 - 1905)
Home State: North Carolina
Command Billet: Commanding Regiment
Branch of Service: Infantry
He was educated in schools in Greensboro and Raleigh, N.C. At 19, he returned to Tarboro and took charge of the family farm. In 1853, Parker moved to Halifax County, N.C., and continued to farm.
Parker was one of the founding members of a volunteer military company named the Enfield Blues, formed in 1859. In 1861, this became Company I, 1st North Carolina Volunteers. On 7 October 1861 Parker was elected colonel of the new 30th Regiment, North Carolina Troops.
On the Campaign
He was in command of the Regiment, which fought in the Sunken Road from about 8:30 am to midday. Of Sharpsburg, Parker wrote,
I cautioned my men to hold their fire until I should give the command, and then to take deliberate cool aim; that I would not give command to fire until I could see the belt of the cartridge boxes of the enemy, and to aim at these. They obeyed my orders, gave a fine volley, which brought down the enemy, as grain falls before a reaper.
A rifle ball passed over Colonel Parker's head, cutting away a narrow strip of skin and plowing a nice little furrow in the skull, leaving the membrane that covers the brain visible but uninjured. What a narrow escape!
The rest of the War
He was wounded again at Gettysburg in July 1863, but continued in command until incapacitated by a third wound in May 1864 at Spottsylvania.
After the War
After the war, Parker continued to manage his plantation until his death in 1905.
References & notes
Basic biographical information from the Francis Marion Parker papers at the Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, abstract online - there is reportedly a photograph of him in military uniform among those papers. Service dates from Moore's Roster1. The photo above is from Clark2.
1827; Tarboro, NC
1 Moore, John Wheeler (compiler), and State of North Carolina, Roster of North Carolina Troops in the War Between the States, 4 volumes, Raleigh: Ashe & Gatling, State Printers and Publishers, 1882, Vol. 2, pg. 502 [AotW citation 1013]
2 Clark, Walter, editor, Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, 1861-1865, 5 vols., Raleigh and Goldsboro (NC): E. M. Uzzell, Nash Brothers, printers, 1901, Vol. 2, facing pg. 495 [AotW citation 1014]