THREE-QUARTER STANDING VIEW OF MAJOR GENERAL ISRAEL B. RICHARDSON WHO DIED OF WOUNDS RECEIVED AT ANTIETAM – IMAGE BY BRADY

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Item Code: 259-65

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The General is shown wearing a dark double-breasted frock coat with brigadier general’s shoulder straps and matching dark trousers. At his waist is his sword belt and sash and on his hands he wears gauntlets. Attached to the General's belt is a Model 1840 cavalry saber.

Image is clear with good contrast and light surface dirt from age throughout. Bottom of mount is marked BRADY and WASHINGTON.

Reverse is blank.

Israel Bush Richardson was born in Fairfax, Vermont on December 26, 1815. He was appointed from Vermont to the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduated 38th out of 58 cadets in the Class of 1841. After some routine assignments, Richardson served as a second lieutenant in the Second Seminole War in Florida. He was promoted to first lieutenant on Sep 21, 1846.

He received two brevets for meritorious service during the Mexican War; one to captain and one to major for the actions at Contreras, Churubusco, and Chapultepec. It was in Mexico while serving under General Winfield Scott in the Army of Occupation that he received his nickname, "Fighting Dick," which would carry over to the Civil War. After the war with Mexico he reverted back to his pre-war rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

Richardson later served as a captain in the 3rd U.S. Infantry, being promoted 1851, and at various frontier outposts in Texas and New Mexico Territory. He then resigned his commission in 1855 and began farming near Pontiac, Michigan.

When the Civil War broke out Richardson enlisted in the Union Army. He recruited and organized the 2nd Michigan Infantry and reported with his regiment in Washington, D.C. Richardson was promoted to colonel on May 25, 1861, and was assigned command of the 4th Brigade, 1st Division, in the newly organized army of Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell. His brigade saw limited action at the First Battle of Bull Run near Blackburn's Ford, and in covering the subsequent Federal withdrawal to Washington. He was promoted to brigadier general, ranking from May 17, 1861.

He commanded the 1st Division of the II Corps in the Army of the Potomac during the Peninsula Campaign in 1862. He was involved in the fighting at the battles of Yorktown, Seven Pines, and the Seven Days. He was particularly distinguished in sharp fighting near the Chickahominy River. Following the campaign, he was promoted to major general on July 4, 1862. He led his troops during the Northern Virginia Campaign, fighting at the Second Battle of Bull Run, and again during the Maryland Campaign in September, when he was engaged at South Mountain.

Richardson's 1st Division played a key role during the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862, attacking Confederate positions in the center of the Sunken Road in support of the 3rd Division of Maj. Gen. William H. French. After stubborn fighting, by 1:00 p.m., Richardson had gained control of the high ground in front of the apex of the defensive line, and his men enfiladed the remaining defenders in the road, which would gain the nickname "Bloody Lane" for the carnage. Richardson pushed forward beyond the road and was directing the fire of his artillery and organizing another attack when he was struck by a shell fragment.

Carried to the rear, Richardson was treated at a field hospital. His wound was not considered life-threatening, and he was given a room in Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's headquarters, the Pry House. President Abraham Lincoln paid his respects to the wounded Richardson during a visit to the battlefield in October. However, infection set in, and then pneumonia, which claimed the life of the popular general in early November. He was among six generals to be killed or mortally wounded at Antietam.

His body was escorted to Detroit, Michigan. Large crowds lined the streets during his funeral procession to nearby Pontiac, where he was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.  [ad]

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