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Haskell, Franklin Aretas

MILITARY SERVICE

Age: 0, credited to Tunbridge, VT
Unit(s): 6th WI INF, 36th WI INF
Service: 6th WI INF, 36th WI INF, kia, Cold Harbor, 6/3/64

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations

VITALS

Birth: 07/13/1828, Tunbridge, VT
Death: 06/03/1864

Burial: Silver Lake Cemetery, Portage, WI
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Steve Dunn
Findagrave Memorial #: 7153073

MORE INFORMATION

Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Unknown
Portrait?: Findagrave off-site
College?: DC 54
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: None

DESCENDANTS

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BURIAL:

Copyright notice

Tombstone

Silver Lake Cemetery, Portage, WI

Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.


Biography

Haskell, Frank Aretas, son of Aretas and Anna (Folsom) Haskell, was born in Tunbridge, Vt., 1828, July 13. Studied law at Madison, Wis., with Orton, Atwood, and Orton; and practiced law, at Madison, in partnership with Judge John P. Atwood, until the war. He promptly volunteered, and went to the front as Adjutant of the 6th Wisconsin Regiment; his bravery and skill soon won notice and promotion, and he served on the staff successively of Generals Gibbon and Meade. His service at Gettysburg was very conspicuous, and in Carpenter's celebrated painting of that battle, Haskell is one of the most distinguished figures. His elaborate record of that great battle will be inserted in the appendix to this volume. Early in 1864 he assisted in raising the 36th Wisconsin Regiment and returned to the field at its head as Colonel. His soldierly bearing and skill in organizing troops at Madison was greatly commended. He followed General Grant through the Wilderness; but was killed instantly by a rebel bullet, fighting bravely at Cold Harbor, June 2. A commission, as Brigadier-General, was on its way to him, when he was killed, and, had his life been spared, higher honors, in both military and civil life, would very surely have been his.

Of Haskell, at Madison, Judge Braley, who knew him well there, writes: "As a lawyer, he was gifted with much more than ordinary ability. He was strong, acute, logical, but modest and unpretentious. He was recognized as a young man of bright prospects and had he lived, he would have won high rank in his profession. He was a true gentleman everywhere, at the bar, in the social circle and all other places. He could not be otherwise, for nature had formed him so. . . . He was not only one of the bravest soldiers that Wisconsin sent to the war, but he was one of the coolest and most skillful of officers. He was an exact disciplinarian, an enthusiastic student of the military code. Before the war he was captain of our best military company; and, in that position, the same force of character, the same high martial bearing, and the same discipline distinguished him." Of his conduct, at Gettysburg and elsewhere, the testimony is most emphatic. General Gibbon says: "There was a young man on my staff, who has been in every battle with me, and who did more than any other one man to repulse that last assault at Gettysburg, and he did the part of a general there." And he describes how Haskell, coming up at the critical moment, when the rebels had broken into the Union lines, "ordered all the troops of the division to the right; . . . they commenced firing upon the rebels as they were coming into our batteries, and took them in flank, and the rebels laid down their arms by hundreds." This has been recognized as the turning point of the battle.

Maj.-Gen. Hancock, corps commander, says: "I desire particularly to refer to the services of a gallant young officer, First Lieut. F. A. Haskell, A. D. C. to Brig.-Gen. Gibbon, who, at a critical period of the battle, when the contending forces were but fifty yards apart, believing that an example was necessary and ready to sacrifice life, rode between the contending lines with the view of giving encouragement to ours, and leading it forward, he being, at the moment, the only mounted officer in a similar position. He was slightly wounded, and his horse was shot in several places."

Hazen and Spears. A History of the Class of 1854 in Dartmouth College, Including Col. Haskell's Narrative of the Battle of Gettysburg (Alfred Mudge & Son, Boston, 1898), p. 33

Obituary

Col. Frank A. Haskell. - The announcement of the death of Col. Frank A. Haskell of the 36th Wisconsin regiment, was made in a war bulletin of Secretary Stanton, some days ago. Col. Haskell was a native of Vermont, but a resident of Madison, Wisconsin, at the outbreak of the rebellion. He entered the service as Adjutant of the 6th Wisconsin, and by his faithfulness, proficiency and gallantry won the high regard of Gen. Gibbons, on whose staff he served for a long time, and of Gen. Hancock, at whose solicitation Col. Haskell was given permission to raise a new regiment in Wisconsin, of which he took command. It was but a few weeks before he fell in a fight near Richmond, that his regiment left Wisconsin and joined Hancock's corps. Col. Haskell was a graduate of Dartmouth College and was about thirty years of age. He had many friends in Vermont, who deeply mourn his loss. The Madison (WI) State Journal says of him:

"After graduating at Dartmouth College he came west, studied law and entered on the practice of his profession here. A gentleman of fine literary taste, truthful, brave, modest, the soul of honor, social and genial among his intimates, he has displayed since his entrance into the service qualities that promised him a brilliant future if his life had been spared."

Source: Rutland Herald, June 23, 1864

Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.

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