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Francis Marion “Frank” Bridgewater

Birth
Richmond, Henrico County, Virginia, USA
Death 6 Jul 1892 (aged 55–56)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Plot , 5078
Memorial ID 2585753 · View Source
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Francis Marion “Frank” aka Franklin Bridgewater was born about 1836 in Richmond, Henrico Co., Virginia, son of William Bridgewater and Elizabeth Drumright. When 23, he was described as 5’8” in height with blue eyes, brown hair, fair complexion, and with no distinguishing marks. He claimed to be a plasterer.

“Frank”, as he was known by Richmond authorities, built up notoriety as a youngster in and out of mischief. Boys from twelve to twenty years, led on by a few veterans in evil doing, composed a lawless gang in Richmond’s unsavory inner city. Initially, Frank was described, “like a lost dog.—He has no home, and stays wherever they’ll let him.” But ultimately, and to his undoing, Frank led the gang himself.

After numerous court appearances, and Frank seeing the writing on the wall, he made an emotional appeal to the Mayor to let him go, and promised to join the army and never return to Richmond. A bargain was struck and Francis Marion “Frank” Bridgewater was a free man, sort of. He didn’t join the army immediately. Rather, he joined the Navy.

Frank enlisted as a Landsman [Naval Recruit] in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 5 June 1858 and served on the U.S.S. Saratoga until discharged in June 1860. He re-enlisted two months later and served on the U.S.S. Powhattan, the U.S.S. North Carolina, the U.S.S. T. A. Ward, and the Potomac Flotilla through August 1863 when discharged.

Francis, using the alias James Williams, enrolled on 9 June 1864 and served as a Private, then Corporal, in Co. “G”, 2 Regiment Massachusetts Vol. Infantry, until mustered out with his company on 24 July 1865. During this tour he was treated for syphilis.

Francis was married on 13 [or 14] February 1866 in Brooklyn, New York, to Theresa (Flood) Lawler who was born in May 1849 in New York , daughter of Lawrence Flood and Ellen Coyne, Irish immigrants. Theresa was the widow of John Lawler.

After his marriage, Francis enlisted in the General Mounted Service of the U.S. Army on 22 June 1868 in New York. He was forwarded to the 1st Cavalry in August and served as a Private in Company “D”. He was discharged in August 1871 at Lapiwai, Idaho Territory, due to a general reduction in the army.

Francis enlisted as an O.S. [Ordinary Seaman] on the U.S.S. Independence and served three months before serving on the U.S.S. Benicia thru August 1875 when he was discharged as Qr. Mr. [Quartermaster]

Francis died on 6 July 1892 in his home at 79 Catherine Street in New York City, survived by his wife. Cause of death was phthisis due to exposure from service in Army and Navy. He was buried in Cypress Hills National Cemetery on July 8th.

In 1900, Theresa was barely surviving and paying a mortgage on her home at 1023 Washington Avenue, on her widow’s pension and income from a small candy store she kept. Her health deteriorated and by 1906 she was adjudged insane and her care delegated to the State Hospital. She died on 18 June 1919 in Brooklyn.

There were four children, all deceased prior to 1900.


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  • Maintained by: Vern Paul
  • Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Office
  • Added: 3 Mar 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2585753
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Francis Marion “Frank” Bridgewater (1836–6 Jul 1892), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2585753, citing Cypress Hills National Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA ; Maintained by Vern Paul (contributor 46792096) .