13th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry USA Wiki

David B. French (about 1845 - May 5, 1865) served as a private in Company L, 13th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry.

Personal life

David French was born about 1845 in Carter County, Tennessee to William and Mary (Hampton) French.[1]

Civil War service

French enlisted as a private in Company L on September 21, 1863 in Carter County, Tennessee for a period of three years and mustered in April 11, 1864 at Nashville, Tennessee.

He is described as 18 years old, 6' tall, fair complexion, blue eyes, light hair, and by occupation a farmer.

French was present for duty until August 4, 1864 when he was left sick in U.S. General Hospital No. 1 in Gallatin, Tennessee. He returned to duty on August 12, 1864, but taken ill again and admitted to Asylum General Hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee on August 14, 1864; when he returned to the regiment was not recorded.

French was captured November 11, 1864 at Morristown, Tennessee and was held there as a prisoner of war until transferred to Danville, Virginia on February 13, 1865. He was transferred to Richmond, Virginia on February 20, 1865 and paroled at Aiken's Landing, Virginia on February 22, 1865.

While being transported back to the regiment, French became ill with diarrhea. He was admitted to U.S. General Hospital at Grafton, West Virginia on March 1, 1865. The examining surgeon wrote, "When admitted [he] had a red flabby tongue, pulse 124, appetite moderate, [and] has had diarrhea six days." On March 2 the surgeon noted, "Has had no evacuation since admission." On March 4 he had "Two evacuations" and on March 5 his condition was noted as "improving". French died there on May 5, 1865 due to "disease of the heart". His personal effects consisted of one hat, one great coat, one uniform jacket, one pair trousers, one pair cotton drawers, two flannel shirts, one pair socks, one blanket, one valise, and $2.50 in notes.

When the regiment mustered out on September 5, 1865 at Knoxville it was noted that he owed $35.62 to the government for clothing and had been paid a $25 bounty.

French is buried at Grafton National Cemetery in Grafton, West Virginia.


  1. 1850 U.S. Census, 7th Civil District, Carter County, Tennessee.

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