Lieutenant Wooster, Civil War Hero,
Who Was Killed at Cold Harbor

Lt. Frank M. Wooster

Onondagan Was Officer of
122d   Regiment,    Only
Command Lincoln Ever
Saw in Action.


     As the names of young American heroes are coming across from France, the older generation finds its parallels for bravery in the names of the soldiers who were young in 1861.

     They remember, perhaps, the story of the death of Lieut. Frank M. Wooster of Tully, at Cold Harbor, Va., June 3d, 1863[sic], when he was killed by a sharpshooter just before that famous battle began in the early gray Virginia morning.

     A hundred thousand Union soldiers were drawn up in divisions several miles long before the Confederate works. Part of this great army was the famous One Hundred and Twenty-second Onondaga county regiment, which was the only one President Lincoln ever saw in action.

     A few rods in front of the men, Major Poole and his friend, Lieutenant Wooster, stood leaning against one of the guns trying to solve the mystery that lay behind the Confederat entrenchments. They had discovered the fake entrenchments, manned by sticks and slouch hats—it would be called camouflage today—and had made out the trenches in which real soldiers were waiting for the assault.

     As Major Poole and Lieutenant Wooster were exchanging the field glasses through which they were observing the movements opposite, Wooster fell, a bullet through his head, killed instantly.

     Major Poole and Fay Smith of Tully hastily covered the body with a few inches of earth, while the major sent his personal belongings back to his home, together with the sword that residents of the town had given him on his departure for the front on his last furlough, and the badge of honor made from gold wrested from the soil of California by his brother, one of the Forty-niners.

     Wooster's funeral in Tully was one of the most impressive events of that war. He was the first Onondaga man to fall in the battle of Cold Harbor, the first of 10,000 Union soldiers lost in the assaults.

This feature article appeared during World War I, in the Syracuse Herald, May 26, 1918. It was found, February 23, 2000, in a folder of Wooster clippings at the Onondaga Historical Association, Montgomery Street, Syracuse, N.Y. 13202.


Syracuse Journal, June 15, 1864.
Funeral of the Late Lieut. Wooster.—The remains of Lieut. F. M. Wooster, of the 122d regiment, reached Tully this morning, and the funeral services will be held at that place to-morrow (Thursday) afternoon at two o'clock.

Syracuse Journal, June 17, 1864.
Funeral of Lieut. Wooster.—The funeral services of the late Lieut. Frank Wooster, of the 122d regiment, took place at Tully, the residence of his parents. A number of our citizens attended, to pay tribute to the memory of a worthy young man who has fallen in the cause of his country.

Both of these announcements were found, February 23, 2000, in a file of Wooster clippings at the Onondaga Historical Association, Montgomery Street, Syracuse, N.Y. 13202.


April 21, 2001, I received the following email from Bob Ghee,

I am Bob Ghee. My granduncle Henry Ghee served with the 122nd NY, Co.E. I have a tintype of Frank Wooster, who was killed at Cold Harbor. It matches with the picture on this web site.
Truly, Bob Ghee
Phone No. 845 635 2717
Henry Ghee enlisted at age 22 on August 14, 1862. A sergeant in Co. E, he was wounded at Cedar Creek.


September 30, 2002, I received this photograph of Lt. Frank M. Wooster of the 122nd NYSVI from R. L. Murray, who is currently working on a book about Onondaga County men who fought in the Civil War.

Click on picture for larger image.


Kenneth Jennings Wooster
27 Abdallah Avenue
Cortland, New York 13045-3302
File created: March 7, 2001
File modified: March 12, 2001; April 22, 2001; September 30, 2002