William B Franklin (1823-1903): American soldier. He was first in his class at West Point in 1843, and went into the engineers. Most of his experience was in that area prior to the Civil War. In May 1861, he was promoted from regular army captain to colonel, then brigadier, commanding a brigade at First Bull Run. Seniority made him a division commander in late 1861, then a corps commander in the Peninsular Campaign. He survived the dismissal of General McClellan, but was pushed aside by General Burnside after Fredericksburg. He only briefly saw command thereafter. He resigned from the army in 1866 and went into industry. Most scholars seem to think him highly intelligent, and competent in an organizational way, but without the spark that produces great generals.