BUST VIEW CDV OF MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM B. FRANKLIN

$125.00

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Item Code: 259-30

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Vignette bust view showing Franklin in right profile. The General wears a dark double-breasted frock coat with brigadier general’s shoulder straps.

Image has very good clarity and contrast. There is very light surface dirt throughout.

Reverse has photographer’s imprint for ADDIS of MCLEES’ GALLERY of WASHINGTON, D.C.

William Buel Franklin was born on February 27, 1823 in York, Pennsylvania. He attended West Point from 1839 to 1843, graduating first in his class. He was then assigned to the Corps of Topographical Engineers, supervising many projects, including mapping expeditions, the construction of lighthouses, and the construction of the Capitol dome in Washington, DC.

In 1847, during the Mexican War Franklin was promoted to brevet first lieutenant for his actions in the Battle of Buena Vista.

Once the Civil War began Franklin was a natural choice for command, and he led a brigade at first Bull Run, a division during the beginning of the Peninsula Campaign, and was a corps commander by the time of the Seven Days Battles. Franklin had a close relationship with General George McClellan, and it was perhaps due to their comradeship more than personal skill, that Franklin rose so quickly through the ranks.

Franklin did not perform well at the battle of 2nd Bull Run and he also failed to relieve the garrison at Harpers Ferry before it was captured by Stonewall Jackson during the Antietam campaign. After General Ambrose Burnside took command of the army in November of 1862, he appointed Franklin commander of the "Left Grand Division" during the Fredericksburg campaign. After the battle of December 13, 1862, Franklin’s actions were questioned.

Franklin tried to go around Burnside and proposed another campaign plan directly to President Lincoln. Upon discovering Franklin’s action Burnside removed him from his command.

Reassigned to a corps command in Louisiana, Franklin again saw defeat in the Battle of Sabine Pass in Texas on September 8, 1863. He then took part in the Red River Campaign in Louisiana and was wounded at the battle of Sabine Crossroads in April 1864. Franklin was taken prisoner when the train he was traveling on was captured by Confederate partisans. Although hindered by his leg wound, he managed to escape when his guard fell asleep.

Franklin was never given another command during the war, and in 1866 he resigned from the army. After resigning he moved to Hartford, Connecticut and managed the Colt Firearms Manufacturing Company. He also supervised the construction of Connecticut's Capitol Building. In 1872 he was asked to run for President of the United States on the Democratic ticket, but declined. In later life he also served on the board of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. William Franklin died on March 8, 1903 and was buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery in York, Pennsylvania.  [ad]

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