Commander of the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry of the famed "Iron Brigade" at the epic battle of Gettysburg, where he was very severely wounded resulting in the amputation of his arm!
3 term Governor of Wisconsin
(1831-96) He enlisted 5 days after the bombardment of Fort Sumter, S.C., as a private in the 1st Wisconsin Infantry. Later elected captain, he took part in the skirmish at Falling Waters, Va., against General Thomas J. Jackson's "Stonewall Brigade." In August 1861, he became lieutenant colonel of the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry, which won fame as a unit in the celebrated "Iron Brigade." He greatly distinguished himself at the battles of 2nd Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg & Chancellorsville. On July 1st, at Gettysburg, Fairchild now colonel of the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry, distinguished himself at Seminary Ridge during the first day of fighting at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, his regiment being the first infantry troops to make close contact with the Confederate Army. During the fighting, the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry delivered a striking blow by capturing the very first Confederate general of the war, General James J. Archer. Almost immediately after their success, the regiment was ambushed by an attack on their right flank, losing 77 percent of their ranks, including most officers. Fairchild had his left arm badly shattered, requiring amputation, and he was captured by the Confederates. After attending to his wounds the Confederates released him back through the lines to the Union army. He was promoted to brigadier general to rank from October 19, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln, but saw no further active field service due to his wounds and resigned his commission in November 1863. He was soon appointed Secretary of State of Wisconsin, serving from 1864–1866, and then was elected as a three term Governor of Wisconsin, serving from 1866–1872. Afterwards he was appointed U.S. Consul to Liverpool in 1871, and U.S. Minister to Spain, 1880-1881. Fairchild served as Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886–1887, and of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, 1893-1895.
Check Signed as Secretary of State of Wisconsin: 7 x 3 1/4, imprinted form filled out in ink. $25.00. Madison, April 10th, 1865. TO THE STATE TREASURER: Hon. Wm. Palmer of the Assembly, is entitled to per diem for ten days, from the first day of April to the tenth day of April 1865, inclusive. Attest, John S. Dean, Chief Clerk. Wm. W. Field, Speaker. Countersigned, L. Fairchild, Secretary of State. No. 3410. Payable from the General Fund. On the reverse is: PER DIEM OF THE ASSEMBLY. $25.00. Received, Madison, April 10th, from the State Treasurer, the amount of the within Certificate. Wm. Palmer, with 2 cents orange, George Washington Internal Revenue stamp. There is a small punch hole cancellation. Slightly irregular left edge from when this check was torn out of the check book. This affects the first letter of 2 words which you can still easily figure out ("entitled" and "to"). Light staining. Very desirable "Iron Brigade," and Gettysburg general severely wounded in the great battle that was one of the major turning points of the Civil War.
WBTS Trivia: This check was drawn the day after General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia, to General Ulysses S. Grant, at Appomattox Court House, Va.