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L. Fairchild

L. Fairchild

Federal (USV)


Lucius Fairchild

(1831 - 1896)

Home State: Wisconsin

Education: Carroll College (WI)

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 2nd Wisconsin Infantry


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

A former '49er, he was a court clerk and militia officer before the War. In April 1861 he enlisted as Private in Company K of the 1st Wisconsin Regiment for 3 months service, was promoted to Captain, and fought at Falling Waters. He was commissioned Captain in the 16th US Infantry on 5 August 1861, but took leave to take a commission in the Volunteer service. He was appointed Major of the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry on 9 August and Lieutenant Colonel on 20 August 1861. He was promoted to Colonel on 30 August 1862 after Colonel O'Conner was killed at Gainsville, VA.

On the Campaign

He was in command of the 2nd Wisconsin Regiment part of the famous Fourth ("Black Hat") Brigade (later known as the "Iron Brigade") of the First Division/First (I) Corps on the Campaign. He was ill and relieved by Lieutenant Colonel Allen at Antietam on 17 September.

The rest of the War

He led his Regiment at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, where he was wounded - losing his left arm to amputation - and captured. In October 1863 he was appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers, but he resigned in November 1863 to become Secretary of State of Wisconsin.

After the War

He was Governor of Wisconsin (3 terms) and held consular and diplomatic posts. John Singer Sargent painted his portrait in 1887 while Fairchild was national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR).

References & notes

Service detail from the Roster1. Carman2 says he was wounded and relieved on 14 September 1862. His photograph from one in the collection of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

More on the Web

See an interesting sketch about the Colonel and his wife at the Wisconsin Electric Reader, a nice, brief biographical sketch from Virtuology, and - a real treat - a searchable database of letters from a very young Fairchild from the Gold fields of California 1849 - 55.


12/27/1831; Franklin Mill, Ohio


5/23/1896; Madison, Wisconsin; burial in Forest Hill Cemetery, Madison, Wisconsin


1   State of Wisconsin, Adjutant General's Office, and Chandler P. Chapman, Adj. Gen., Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865, 2 volumes, Madison: Democrat Printing Co., State Printers, 1886, Vol. 1, pg. 345  [AotW citation 10109]

2   Carman, Ezra Ayers, and Dr. Thomas G. Clemens, editor, The Maryland Campaign of September 1862, 3 volumes, El Dorado Hills (CA): Savas Beatie, 2010-17, Vol. 2, pg. 523  [AotW citation 29384]