(For We’ve Got Answers column in Mar/Apr issue Fairfield Mag)
By Mike Lauterborn
© 2010. All Rights Reserved.
Q: What was Fairfield’s role in the Civil War?
It was 150 years ago that war erupted between the states. Fairfield men were not eager to join up and it took cash incentives from the town’s selectmen to encourage many to enlist. Even so, some bought medical exemptions or sent others in their place. Most Fairfielders that did enlist were placed in the 17th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, which saw action at Gettysburg among other battle sites.
The town’s most noted Civil War veteran was John B. Morehouse. In 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company D of the 1st Connecticut Cavalry Regiment. Over a four-year period, the cavalry engaged the enemy on 93 occasions and had the honor of escorting General Grant at Appomatox to receive the surrender of General Lee in 1865. Reaching the rank of Major, Morehouse was wounded twice and returned to Fairfield a hero.
To mark the war’s anniversary, the Fairfield Museum & History Center plans an interactive, self-directed tour in April of the East Cemetery on Old Post Road. Buried there are 18 Fairfield men that fought in the Civil War. Museum volunteers, ideally in period military uniforms, will be stationed beside each relevant gravesite to provide background about these soldiers and virtually bring them back to life.
For cemetery tour details, visit www.FairfieldHistoricalSociety.org