David was the son of David Franklin & Rebecca Schell. He Married May Ann Wann about 1853. That marriage was blessed with ten children.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, David Franklin enlisted in Company C, 3rd Regiment (Lillard's) Tennessee Mounted Infantry (Confederate States of America).
Col. Lillard led the regiment in the Kentucky Campaign, and they saw combat action at Baker's Creek, Big Black, Vicksburg, Morristown, Greenville, Bull's Gap, and in the Valley of Virginia.
David was captured during the Battle of Vicksburg in July, 1863. He was pardoned and exchanged on July 10, 1863. He was once again captured by Union forces in Benton County, TN, in December 1863. This time, he was sent to the infamous Federal Prison Camp in Rock Island, IL. While there, he was admitted to the prison hospital, suffering with smallpox. Later in life, his military pension application would show that he was 75% disabled, with vision, hearing, and back injuries.
While a prisoner-of-war at Rock Island, he enlisted in Company B, 3rd United States Volunteer Infantry, and he served in the Frontier Service of the Northwestern Frontier.
The United States Volunteer Infantry Regiments were made up of former Confederate soldiers who, while prisoners of war, were given the opportunity to leave POW camps in the event they would serve in the United States Army. There was a very difficult process in making this transition from Confederate POW to the ranks of the Union army as a "Galvanized Yankee."
These men knew that by volunteering for the Union army, they would be shunned by their former comrades, and after the war, they were frequently shunned by Union and Confederate Veterans alike and most were not granted pensions from the US Government. However, these men endured trials and tribulations well beyond the prisons, and their exploits in the American Territories out west were trying in themselves and, in the end, many of these men did good and loyal service in the name of the United States on its frontier.
David was honorably discharged from Federal service in November, 1865. Thus, David Franklin had the very unusual destinction of serving in both the Confederate and Union Armies during the Civil War, as a "Galvanized Yankee". One of only 6,000 Americans to do so.