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Colonel Harrison S. Fairchild


     At the organization of the Regiment and indeed throughout its career of service in the Union Army, Harrison S. Fairchild was the Colonel of the 89th NYVI.  This was a somewhat unusual occurence for a New York regiment with a story of nearly four years of military activity.  At times he was a Brigade Commander, as for instance he was at South Mountain, part of the Siege of Suffolk, and the Appomattox Campaign.  He led his men in several battles.  On March 13, 1865, he was promoted to Brigadier General by Brevet for gallant and meritorious services during the war.  He was mustered out of the service with the Regiment on August 3, 1865 in Richmond, Virginia.

Prior to the Civil War he worked in banking, first as a clerk, then as a teller and bookkeeper.  Later, he was a private banker, and in 1854 he was the president of the New Rochester Bank.  About the same time he built a home in Rochester.  In 1856 he was an Alderman for the city from the twelfth ward. 
     Harrison Fairchild was a Captain of the Rochester Light Guard and for nearly ten years before the Civil War was the Colonel of the 54th New York Militia.  He also held the posts of Secretary and Treasurer of the New York State Military Association.
     Harrison Stiles Fairchild was born in Cazenovia, Madison County, New York, on August fourth, 1820, the first son of Philo and his wife Nancy (Stiles) Fairchild.  His father was a well to do farmer in Madison County.  In 1838, shortly after his father died, Harrison moved to Rochester, New York.  He married Electa Jane Williams, a daughter of Harry B. Williams, on March 14, 1844.  Harrison and Electa eventually had at least four children. Electa died before 1880, when daughters Harriet and Isabella were still with Harrison. Daughter Mary and son Henry B. were not in the household. In 1892, Harrison, in the NYS Census, was 71, and daughters Harriet 40 and Isabella 33 were living with him.
     After the Civil War, he worked even until his hospitalization as a stocks and bonds broker, a real estate agent, and a United States Pension Claims Agent.  He may have assisted men formerly under his command in this latter position.  He was respected by his men during war time and recalled fondly by men after the war.  In 1894 he attended a general reunion of the Regiment held in Norwich, New York, where he was warmly applauded.
     Harrison Stiles Fairchild died in a Rochester hospital on January 25th, 1901.  An obituary appeared in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle on the following day, naming him as the ranking general officer of the city at the time of his death.  He is buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester.

This is an image of the gravesite of Harrison Stiles Fairchild - 1820-1901, Mount Hope Cemetery, Rochester, NY.

Col. Harrison S. Fairchild photo available at Carlisle Barracks, US Army Archives

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