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Charles Fairchild's correspondence, 1863-1864

Date: Jan. 04 1863 - Jul. 29 1864 | Identifier: 676.1.c
Folder contains transcripts of letters sent by Charles Fairchild to his mother and sister during the Civil War dated January 4, 1863 to July 29, 1864. The folder begins with a letter detailing Wisconsin's sustaining the Writ of Habeas Corpus (11 January 1863); and the experience of dealing with General Busted, a politically appointed general from New York City (2 February 1863). Other topics of interest found in Fairchild's letters include his reports on the Mahaska being ordered to the Gulf of Mexico to join Admiral Farragut's squadron, their detour to Baltimore for repairs, and his comments on the condition of Farragut's fleet (17 & 20 March 1863); the Federal Army's defeat at Fredericksburg (May 1863); a ride along Acquia Creek near Falmouth, Virginia, on the Union side with Confederate troops in clear view on the other side (20 May 1863); and the evacuation of Union troops from the area (June 1863). A brief description of the vast number of sick and wounded from the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, at which his brother Lucius lost an arm, is also found in his correspondence (6 July 1863). In August of 1863, Fairchild wrote of the Mahaska being on blockade duty in Charleston, S.C. Additional letters note the shelling of Charleston (5 & 23 August 1863), Fort Sumter (14 & 31 August 1863), and Forts Moultrie, Wagner, and Gregg (31 August 1863 and 9 September 1863) in South Carolina; the reassignment of blockade duty off St. Catherine's Sound, Georgia; the description of sea and animal life; the discussion of states' rights and abstract rights in the Constitution; and fishing, game hunting, and sporting (duck hunting) off of Georgetown, South Carolina (October and December 1863). Also mentioned is his preparation for an examination for qualifying as an assistant paymaster (regular Navy), his being on the sick list with scurvy (22 February 1864), and his getting a commission (21 July 1864). There is evidence that the originals of some of these letters are found in the State Historical Society of Wisconsin in the Lucius Fairchild Papers. more...