(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
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 - 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. His photograph from one in the collection of the Wisconsin Historical Society.
More on the Web
12/27/1831; Franklin Mill, Ohio
5/23/1896; Madison, Wisconsin; burial in Forest Hill Cemetery, Madison, Wisconsin