Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Cassius Fairchild

Cassius Fairchild.

Birth: Dec. 16, 1829.
Death: Oct. 24, 1868.

the son of Sally Blair and J.C. Fairchild, was born December 16, 1829 at Franklin Mills, now Kent, Ohio. In July 1843, he moved to Milwaukee with his uncle, F.J. Blair and he attended what later became Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Fairchild was repeatedly elected as Alderman, one year as President of the Council, and in 1859 as member of the Legislature from the City of Madison. Unaware of what they were preparing for, Cassius and Lucius Fairchild, along with young gentlemen of the city formed a military company called the Governor's Guard, of note is that nearly every member of this company took high rank and served with distinction during the Civil War. Cassius was in the wilds of the Northern Pineries when war broke out, but immediately after his return home he offered his services to the Governor and on 10 October 1861 was appointed Major of the Sixteenth Wisconsin Infantry.

On 10 December 1861 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Fairchild was severely wounded at the battle of Shiloh when a ball entered his thigh so close to the hip that amputation was impossible and tampering dangerous. His father's friend, Judge Thomas Hood, went for him and brought him home on a stretcher. During the eight months of emaciation and suffering, the ball and seven pieces of his clothing remained in the wound. The ball was finally found by Dr. Brainard in December 1862 and the foreign substances removed but had been embedded so long that bone had grown over them and the injury was very slow to heal.

Cassius returned to the field and active service in May while his wound still required dressing twice a day and twice during the succeeding campaign he received injuries which opened his wound and prostrated him. During the siege of Vicksburg, General McPearson was his kind and constant friend. On 17 March 1864, he was appointed Colonel. His regiment belonged to the Seventeenth Army Corps which achieved such a noble record at Atlanta and in Sherman's march to the sea.

Fairchild was brevetted Brigadier General for gallantry on 13 March 1865 and he remained in the service to the close of the war, mustering out on 12 July 1865. In the summer of 1866, he was appointed United States Marshal and lived in City of Milwaukee until he was injured while acting as pall-bearer at the funeral of a friend which caused his wound to fatally open. He died October 24, 1868, ten days after his marriage.

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