FAIRCHILD, Lucius, General [1831-1896] -- American Civil War hero, politician, diplomat, Governor of Wisconsin
Brigadier-general of volunteers (1863)
Secretary of state of Wisconsin (1864-1865)
U.S. consul at Liverpool, England (1873-1878)
U.S. consul-general at Paris, France (1878-1880)
U.S. minister and envoy plenipotentiary to Spain (1880-1881)
GAR commander-in-chief (1887)
He was born at Franklin Mills, now Kent, Ohio, Dec. 27, 1831; son of Jairus Cassius and Sally (Blair) Fairchild; grandson of Sueton and Lucy (Hubble) Fairchild and a descendant of Oliver and Sarah (Turner) Fairchild.
He attended the public schools in Cleveland, and the Twinsburg (Ohio) academy, removed to Madison, Wis., in 1846, and continued his education at Carroll college, Waukesha, Wis., 1847-49.
He joined a caravan organized at Madison and with the party crossed the plains to California in 1849 and after engaging in mining, merchandising and farming with no great success, he returned to Madison in 1857. He was clerk of the circuit court of Dane county, 1859-60, and in the fall of 1860 was admitted to the bar.
He joined a volunteer militia company known as the "governor's guard" in March, 1858, and by March, 1861, he had attained the rank of 1st lieutenant of the company. On April 17, 1861, the organization was accepted as company K, 1st Wisconsin volunteers, enlisted for three months' service with Fairchild as captain, he declining the position of lieutenant-colonel. In June, 1861, the regiment was assigned to General Patterson's command at Hagerstown and on July 2, 1861, they took part in the skirmish at Falling Waters, Va., against the "Stonewall brigade" of Jackson. They were mustered out of service at Harper's Ferry, July 31, 1861, and on Aug. 5, 1861, Captain Fairchild was promoted to the rank of captain in the regular army and assigned to the 16th U.S. infantry. Preferring the volunteer service he was commissioned major by Governor Randall and assigned to the 2d Wisconsin infantry, Aug. 9, 1861, and lieutenant-colonel, Aug. 20, 1861, joining the regiment in September after receiving leave of absence from his post in the regular army. He took part in the movements leading to the second battle of Bull Run. In an engagement the 2d and 7th Wisconsin consolidated were commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Fairchild, Colonel O'Connor having fallen, mortally wounded. He was promoted colonel Sept. 8, 1862, with rank from Aug. 30, 1862. He stormed and carried Turner's Gap, South Mountain, Sept. 14, 1862, and pursued the enemy through Boonsborogh to Antietam creek, where on the 17th, although sick, he was lifted to his horse and led his regiment in "the bloodiest day that America ever saw" and where the brigade in which the 2d Wisconsin fought gained the title "Iron Brigade of the West." He also participated in the battle of Fredericksburg on Dec. 13, 1862, and his great skill there displayed was mentioned in the report of General Meredith. He commanded the expedition to Heathsville, Va., in January, 1863, which secured valuable stores and important information besides destroying several blockade runners on the river. At Chancellorsville he rendered important service in defending the pontoneers in the construction of the bridge over which the Federal troops carried the heights and during the battle he served on the staff of General Wadsworth.
He fought with his brigade in Reynolds's corps at Gettysburg, where on the first day his left arm was shattered by a musket ball. His arm was amputated and he was subsequently taken prisoner and paroled. He was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers Oct. 20, 1863, and was mustered out of the service, Nov. 2, 1863.
He was secretary of state of Wisconsin. 1864-65; governor of Wisconsin, 1866-72; president of the National soldiers' and sailors' convention, 1868; U.S. consul at Liverpool, England, 1873-78; U.S. consul-general at Paris, France. 1878-80, and U.S. minister and envoy plenipotentiary to Spain, 1880-81. He resigned his ministry in March, 1881, but remained at his post till relieved by Hannibal Hamlin in December, 1881.
He was department commander, GAR, 1886; commander-in-chief of the organization in 1887; commander of the Wisconsin commandery of the military order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, 1890-93 and commander-in-chief, 1893-94. He was a member of the board of commissioners to negotiate a purchase of lands from the Indian nation; a member of the board of visitors of the University of Wisconsin and a promoter and officer of various state and national military homes and beneficent organizations.
|Brigadier-general of volunteers|
|Secretary of state of Wisconsin|
|Governor of Wisconsin|
|U.S. consul at Liverpool, England|
|U.S. consul-general at Paris, France|
|U.S. minister and envoy plenipotentiary to Spain|
Bookmarks (off-site links)
- Works by
- Works about
- Specific periods, events, aspects
- GAR--Commander-in-Chief General Lucius Fairchild
- Civil War career
- Civil War Union General Lucius Fairchild
- The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies Several volumes
- An illustrated history of the state of Wisconsin Tuttle, Charles R. (1875)
- Gen. Lucius Fairchild
- Lucius Fairchild at the Virtual Museum of History
- General Lucius Fairchild capsule biography
- Specific periods, events, aspects
- Genealogy & family
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- Bibliographies and Link Farms
- Historical context, background
- Civil War Documents
- The Grand Army of the Republic, by Major George S. Merrill: pp. 603-624 In "The New England Magazine" 8:6, Aug. 1809
- WER Image: General Lucius Fairchild