French, William Henry
- Broeck N. Oder
French, William Henry (13 January 1815–20 May 1881), army officer, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of William French, a post office worker (mother’s name unknown). Little is known of French’s early life until he entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1833. He graduated in 1837, twenty-second in a class of fifty. Commissioned second lieutenant in the First Artillery, French served in the Second Seminole War and the Cherokee removals in 1837–1838. Promoted to first lieutenant in 1838, French spent the next several years along the Canadian border during periods of heightened tension there. During the Mexican War, French served in diverse capacities, including aide-de-camp to Brigadier General (later president) ...