Israel Bush Richardson

Israel Bush Richardson, whose nicknames "Fighting Dick" and "Greasy Dick" were equally well earned, was born in Fairfax, Vermont, December 26, 1815. A descendant of Revolutionary War General Israel Putnam, he was appointed to West Point in 1836 and was graduated five years later, ranking thirty-eighth in the celebrated class of 1841 which contributed twenty-three generals to the Civil War out of its fifty-two members, fourteen members having died prior to 1861. Richardson served against the Florida Seminoles immediately following his graduation, but it was not until the war with Mexico that he especially distinguished himself, winning the brevets of captain and major for gallantry at Gontreras, Churubusco, and Chapultepec. After some further service on the southwestern frontier, he resigned in 1855 to take up farming in Pontiac, Michigan. On May 25, 1861, Richardson, who had recruited and organized the 2nd Michigan Infantry, was mustered into Federal service as its colonel.  At the battle of First Manassas he commanded a brigade which was only slightly engaged while covering Blackburn's Ford of Bull Run.  Nevertheless, he brought his command off the field in good order in the midst of a general rout and was made brigadier general on August 9. After making a reputation as an organizer and disciplinarian during the winter, he was assigned to a division of Sumner's corps for the campaign on the Virginia Peninsula in the spring and summer of 1862. Throughout this campaign he displayed the iron courage which endeared him to the rowdy Irish of Meagher's brigade. On July 5, 1862, he was promoted to major general to rank from July 4 and was assigned to a division of Hooker's I Corps after the evacuation of the Peninsula by the Army of the Potomac. The apogee of his career came at Sharpsburg, where his division of Sumner's II Corps aided to some extent by W. H. French's division, drove D. H. Hill's Confederates from "Bloody Lane," in a savagely fought battle. While directing the fire of one of his supporting batteries of artillery, Richardson was wounded by a ball from a spherical case shot fired from a Confederate battery enfilading his line. He was taken to the Pry House, George B. McClellan's headquarters, where he died on November 3, 1862. His remains were taken to Pontiac for burial.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.