Maj. General William H. French (USA)

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Maj. General William H. French (USA)'s Geni Profile

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William Henry French

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Death: Died in Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, United States
Place of Burial: Washington D.C., District of Columbia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William French and Anna Rosetta French
Husband of Caroline French
Father of LT. Frank Sands French; Anna R French; Frederick Halverson French; Ens. George Ross French; Rosalie Conklin and 1 other

Occupation: Career Army served 1837-80: Served in the Seminole Indian War; The Mexican- American War and Civil War obtaining the rank of Major General, Maj General US Army
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Maj. General William H. French (USA)


He was married to Caroline French, (b. 1820 - d. 1884). They had five children: 1) Frank French, (b. 1842 - d. 1865); 2) Anna Clem, (b. 1852 - d. 1899); 3) Frederick French, (b. 1855 - d. 1906); 4) George French, (b. 1857 - d. 1895); and 5) Rosalie Conklin, (b. 1861 - d. 1891)

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William H. French was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1837 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 1st U.S. Artillery. He briefly served in the Second Seminole War and was then assigned to garrison duty along the Canadian border from late 1837 through 1838, when he was reassigned to other military posts for the next decade.

During the Mexican-American War, French was aide-de-camp to General Franklin Pierce, and also on the staff of General Robert Patterson. He was engaged in the siege of Vera Cruz, and received two brevet promotions for bravery: to captain for Cerro Gordo and to major for Contreras and Churubusco.

Between 1850 and 1852, he again served against the Seminole Indians in Florida and was the commanding officer of Stonewall Jackson. The two disagreed often and French's assignment with Jackson led to the two filing numerous charges against each other with U.S. Army authorities. After Florida, French served on frontier duty until 1861.

He was the co-author of Instruction for Field Artillery (1860), along with William F. Barry and Henry J. Hunt.

Civil War

At the start of the Civil War, Captain French and the 1st U.S. Artillery were stationed at Eagle Pass, Texas. He refused to surrender his garrison to the Confederate-aligned state authorities as they requested. Instead, he moved his men to the mouth of the Río Grande in sixteen days and sailed to Key West, where he quartered at the Federal military post there. Shortly thereafter, he was elevated to major and assumed command of the base. In conjunction with the Union Navy, he was instrumental in shutting off Key West to slave traders.

He was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers as of September 28, 1861, and was assigned to the Army of the Potomac, where he commanded a brigade of the II Corps in the Peninsula Campaign. He was engaged at the battles of Yorktown, Seven Pines, Oak Grove, Gaines' Mill, Garnett's & Golding's Farm, Savage's Station, Glendale, and Malvern Hill. French received praise in official reports for his actions and leadership, and was promoted to command a division during the Northern Virginia Campaign.

French commanded the 3rd Division of the II Corps at the Battle of Antietam, making the first attack on the Confederate Division in the Sunken Road. He was promoted to major general on November 29, 1862. He led his division in the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.

French commanded elements of the VIII Corps and the District of Harpers Ferry during the Gettysburg Campaign, but shortly after Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Sickles was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg, French assumed command of the battered III Corps. His military reputation was ruined during the Mine Run Campaign in November 1863 when Maj. Gen. George G. Meade claimed that French's corps moved too slowly to exploit a potential advantage over Gen. Robert E. Lee. This engagement was the last for the III Corps, which was reorganized out of the Union Army in the spring of 1864, and French was mustered out of volunteer service on May 6, 1864.

He remained in the regular army, and for the remainder of the war, he served on military boards in Washington, D.C.. French ended the war with the regular army rank of colonel of the 4th U.S. Artillery.

Postbellum career

Following the war, French commanded the 2nd Artillery on the Pacific Coast from 1865 until 1872, including an assignment as commander of Fort McDowell in San Francisco Bay. In 1875, he was appointed the commander of Fort McHenry near Baltimore. In July 1880, at his own request, being over sixty-two years of age, he was retired.

French died in Washington, D.C., and is buried there in Rock Creek Cemetery.

Family

He married Caroline Read (1820 - 1884). They had five children: Frank French (1842 - 1865), Anna French Clem (1852 - 1899), Frederick French (1855 - 1906), George French (1857 - 1895), and Rosalie French Conklin (1861 - 1891).

His grandson, John French Conklin (1891–1973), was also a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and a brigadier general in the United States Army.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_H._French

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Find A Grave Memorial Written as recorded:

Civil War Union Major General. West Point Class of 1837. In September of 1861 he waspromoted to Brig. Gen. of Vols. and given the command of a brigade in the II Corps of the Army of the Potomac, serving in that capacity during the Peninsula Campaign and at Antietam. Promoted to the rank of Major General in November 1862 he served at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. During the Gettysburg Campaign he was in charge of the District of Harper's Ferry, but took command of the III Corps after Gen. Daniel E. Sickles was wounded at Gettysburg. French lost his entire military reputation at the Battle of Mine Run in November 1863 when he was blamed by Gen. George Meade for being slow and for the Union failure to exploit a potential advantage over Robert E. Lee. French blamed the slowness on one of his division commander in a letter to the War Department. He was mustered out of the service on May 6, 1864. (bio by: EFB III)

Maintained by: Find A Grave Record added: Oct 13, 2001 Find A Grave Memorial# 5842136

Link:http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=5842136

Added by D. Glenn Jan. 20, 2014

-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_H._French

William Henry French (January 13, 1815 – May 20, 1881) was a career United States Army officer and a Union Army General in the American Civil War. He rose to temporarily command a corps within the Army of the Potomac, but was relieved of active field duty following poor performance during the Mine Run Campaign in late 1863.

Early life and career

William H. French was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1837 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 1st U.S. Artillery. He briefly served in the Second Seminole War and was then assigned to garrison duty along the Canadian border from late 1837 through 1838, when he was reassigned to other military posts for the next decade.

During the Mexican-American War, French was aide-de-camp to General Franklin Pierce, and also on the staff of General Robert Patterson. He was engaged in the siege of Vera Cruz, and received two brevet promotions for bravery: to captain for Cerro Gordo and to major for Contreras and Churubusco.

Between 1850 and 1852, he again served against the Seminole Indians in Florida and was the commanding officer of Stonewall Jackson. The two disagreed often and French's assignment with Jackson led to the two filing numerous charges against each other with U.S. Army authorities. After Florida, French served on frontier duty until 1861.

He was the co-author of Instruction for Field Artillery (1860), along with William F. Barry and Henry J. Hunt.

Civil War

At the start of the Civil War, Captain French and the 1st U.S. Artillery were stationed at Eagle Pass, Texas. He refused to surrender his garrison to the Confederate-aligned state authorities as they requested. Instead, he moved his men to the mouth of the Río Grande in sixteen days and sailed to Key West, where he quartered at the Federal military post there. Shortly thereafter, he was elevated to major and assumed command of the base. In conjunction with the Union Navy, he was instrumental in shutting off Key West to slave traders.

He was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers as of September 28, 1861, and was assigned to the Army of the Potomac, where he commanded a brigade of the II Corps in the Peninsula Campaign. He was engaged at the battles of Yorktown, Seven Pines, Oak Grove, Gaines' Mill, Garnett's & Golding's Farm, Savage's Station, Glendale, and Malvern Hill. French received praise in official reports for his actions and leadership, and was promoted to command a division during the Northern Virginia Campaign.

French commanded the 3rd Division of the II Corps at the Battle of Antietam, making the first attack on the Confederate Division in the Sunken Road. He was promoted to major general on November 29, 1862. He led his division in the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.

French commanded elements of the VIII Corps and the District of Harpers Ferry during the Gettysburg Campaign, but shortly after Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Sickles was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg, French assumed command of the battered III Corps. His military reputation was ruined during the Mine Run Campaign in November 1863 when Maj. Gen. George G. Meade claimed that French's corps moved too slowly to exploit a potential advantage over Gen. Robert E. Lee. This engagement was the last for the III Corps, which was reorganized out of the Union Army in the spring of 1864, and French was mustered out of volunteer service on May 6, 1864.

He remained in the regular army, and for the remainder of the war, he served on military boards in Washington, D.C.. French ended the war with the regular army rank of colonel of the 4th U.S. Artillery.

Postbellum career

Following the war, French commanded the 2nd Artillery on the Pacific Coast from 1865 until 1872, including an assignment as commander of Fort McDowell in San Francisco Bay. In 1875, he was appointed the commander of Fort McHenry near Baltimore. In July 1880, at his own request, being over sixty-two years of age, he was retired.

French died in Washington, D.C., and is buried there in Rock Creek Cemetery.

His grandson, John French Conklin (1891–1973), was also a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and a brigadier general in the United States Army.

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Maj. General William H. French (USA)'s Timeline

1815
January 13, 1815
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
1842
1842
Age 26
Houlton, Aroostook, Maine, United States
1844
July 17, 1844
Age 29
Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island, United States
1852
May 24, 1852
Age 37
1855
1855
Age 39
Fort Monroe, Virginia, United States
1857
July 8, 1857
Age 42
Baltimore, MD, USA
1861
June 4, 1861
Age 46
1881
May 20, 1881
Age 66
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, United States
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Washington D.C., District of Columbia, United States