A Hero Among Us

Wreaths Across America-1 20152

Wreaths Across America-2 2015Deputy City Clerk, Joyce Tillson, was taking pictures of work completed earlier this week when she noticed something unique on the faded gravestone of Francis W. Haskell: a unique marker for an America Hero. She looked into this further and discovered the following information that we’d like to also share with you.

Frank W. Haskell was born in 1843 in Benton, Maine, and enlisted on June 4, 1861 in Waterville at the age of 18. He was promoted to Sergeant Major in the 3rd Maine Infantry during the Civil War (1861-1865) and received a Medal of Honor on December 8, 1868, being cited for heroic actions which took place in Fair Oaks, VA, on June 1, 1862. His citation read that he assumed command of a portion of the left wing of his regiment, all the company officers present having been killed or disabled, and led it gallantly across a stream which contributed most effectively to the success of the action. The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. Consequently, later that month, he was promoted to full 1st Lieutenant.

Lt. Haskell went on to marry Sara Chandler in Philadelphia on the 15th of December, 1869. They had no children. Lt. Haskell died in 1903, at the age of 60, of pneumonia in Montana and was buried at the Pine Grove Cemetery here in Waterville. His wife passed away in September of 1936. She died in Waterville and was also buried here.

A complete list of Medal of Honor recipients can be found at: http://www.cmohs.org/