Wig-Wags

Journal of a graduate student in military history and the American Civil War

Battle of Gettysburg – Franklin Haskell’s Account

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Franklin Aretas Haskell (1828 – 1864)

Franklin Aretas Haskell (1828 – 1864)

I recently listened to a audio version of Franklin Haskell’s account of the the Battle of Gettysburg. Written in his own hand to his brother several weeks after the battle, it would not be published until 1898. This important primary work is available in both written and audio format today. The audio version can be downloaded for free from most public libraries who offer such services.

Haskell was, at the time of the battle, aide to General John Gibbon. Lt. Haskell played an important role in defending the stone wall after it was breached by Confederates. His criticism of Daniel Sickles’ action during the battle is nothing short of scathing.

Other selected first person accounts of the Battle of Gettysburg can be read on the National Park Service’s “Voices of the Battle” site here. Included on the site is an account of the battle by General John Gibbon.

gibbon1

General John Gibbon

Haskell was later commissioned a Colonel and commanded the 36th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He was killed during the Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia on June 3, 1864. He had briefly assumed command of the brigade after its commander, Colonel H. B. McKeen, (Eighty-first Pennsylvania), was killed. Within minutes of assuming command, Colonel Haskell was felled by a bullet to the temple.

H. B. McKeen

H. B. McKeen (1835 - 1864)

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One Response

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  1. Haskell’s account is an excellent and detailed record of the Battle of Gettysburg from the perspective of actions along very important sections of the Union line. I would love to read more reports like his and am sad to hear he was killed in battle later on. Bravo to him for taking the time to record his observations.

    Stephen Boland

    April 19, 2010 at 11:56 am


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