Major General Israel Bush Richardson was born in Fairfax, Vermont just after Christmas on December 26 1815. In 1841, he graduated from West Point at the age of 26. After West Point, Richardson served in both the Seminole Wars (1835-1842) and the Mexican-American War (1846-1848. In 1855, Richardson resigned from his position as Captain of the 3rd infantry and moved to Michigan to take up farming. It was in Michigan where he met and married his wife, Fannie.
When the Civil War began, Richardson, also known as “fighting Dick,” found himself again called to war. In May of 1861, he enlisted as a Colonel of the 2nd Michigan Infantry. He continued to rise through the ranks and would become a Major General. His brigade, Tyler’s Division, was at the first Bull Run and saw action at Yorktown, Seven Pines, and during the Peninsula Campaign. In July 1862 he was diagnosed with debility (physical weakness) and was hospitalized for a few weeks before resuming his command.
September 17, 1862, while talking to Captain William M Graham, he was struck in the chest by an artillery shell. He was taken immediately the Pry House. He was placed in the large upstairs bedroom, where Dr. Jonathan Letterman and another surgeon examined him. The doctors debated the severity of his condition, but it soon became evident the wound would be fatal. As Richardson lay on his death bed, he was visited by his sister, his wife, and his President … Lincoln himself. Richardson died November 3, 1862. His body was taken to Pontiac, Michigan, where it was buried.