The Military History of Major General Israel B. Richardson
The American Civil War of 1861-1865 was a conflict that created many heroes and just as many martyrs. Over 620,000 soldiers were killed over the span of this conflict (which equaled out to one soldier in four.) The war tore the very fabric of American society apart, and the issues it confronted, such as slavery and states rights, have effects that have lasted to the present day. While the conflict was over noble ideas and issues, the battles were fought by common men from the North and the South that had very similar backgrounds. This project will examine the military career of Israel Bush Richardson, a Michigan native from Pontiac and a Major General of the United States Army, after briefly examining the organization of the U.S. Army. His career spanned over 25 years, from his entrance in West Point in 1836 to his death in Pontiac in November of 1862 from a wound sustained at the Battle of Antetiam. Affectionately know to the newspapers and historical works as "Fighting Dick" and more commonly to his troops as "Dirty Dick, II his military service was typical of a man who devoted most of his life to the service of his country. A gifted military tactician, his reputation as a brave, intelligent, courageous and hard charging soldier earned him respect from both the Federal and Confederate Armies.