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Federal (USV)


Charles Franklin Cleveland

(1844 - 1908)

Home State: New York

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 26th New York Infantry

Before Antietam

A 16 year old marble polisher and cutter in Utica, he gave his age as 18 when he enlisted and mustered as Private, Company C, 26th New York Infantry in Elmira on 1 June 1861.

On the Campaign

He was wounded in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862, and was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism there where he picked up the colors when the previous bearer was shot and carried them ahead of his regiment.

The rest of the War

He was in the Patterson Park Hospital in Baltimore for about two months and then returned to duty. He was in action again at Fredericksburg, VA in December and at Chancellorsville, VA in May 1863. He mustered out with his Company on 28 May 1863 in Utica, NY.

After the War

He was again a marble cutter in Utica in 1870, but was appointed a police officer there in 1874, promoted to Sergeant in 1882, a detective from 1877-1898, and was then Chief of Police until his death from cancer 10 years later at age 63. He was one of the founders of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police in 1901 and was elected its Vice President in 1906.

References & notes

His service from the Adjutant General,1 which also has him as Charles B. Cleveland. His wound at Antietam from Nelson,2 who cites a casualty list in the Philadelphia Inquirer of 20 September 1862. His police career from a Sketch of the Utica Police Force (1899), online from the Utica Police via Facebook. Personal details from family genealogists, a bio sketch in D.E. Wager's Our County and Its People (1896), his obituary in the Syracuse Herald of 29 February 1908, the US Census of 1860-1900, and the NY State Census of 1865 & 1875. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His year of birth is often seen in error as 1845.

He married Dublin, Ireland-born Catherine Teresa Burns (1845-1924) in November 1865 and they had 4 sons.

His slightly older brother James Wallace Cleveland (1842-1923) was a Corporal in Company C of the 26th Infantry, and may have been with him at Antietam.


8/14/1844; Hartford, NY


9/29/1908; Utica, NY; burial in Forest Hill Cemetery, Utica, NY


1   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 1899, Ser. No. 21, pg. 23  [AotW citation 26187]

2   Nelson, John H., As Grain Falls Before the Reaper: The Federal Hospital Sites and Identified Federal Casualties at Antietam, Hagerstown: John H. Nelson, 2004, pg. 164  [AotW citation 26188]