Biography of John Faulkner

Biography of John Faulkner

This biography appears on pages 178-179 in
"Soldiers' and Citizens' Album of Biographical Record containing personal
sketches of Army Men and Citizens Prominent in loyalty to the Union"
Published in 1890

John Faulkner, Genoa Junction, Wis., member of the G. A. R. Post No. 27, at Lake Geneva, was born Sept. 13, 1813, at Wallkill, Orange Co., New York. His father, Matthew Faulkner, was a farmer and fought under Jackson in the war of 1812, receiving a wound at New Orleans Jan. 8, 1815. He married Martha Robinson and died at the age of 96 years in 1831 in Orange county. His wife was the daughter of Thomas Robinson, a native of Edinburg, Scotland, whence he came to America. The wife and mother died in 1833 on the old homestead when 86 years old. She was the mother of 17 children and her son of this sketch is the sole survivor. Michael Faulkner, paternal grandfather, was a native of Ireland and was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. He received a shot through the lungs at Bunker's Hill (Breed's Hill) and saved his life by lying down in a spring of running water, which checked the flow of blood until he could receive medical attention. Mr. Faulkner passed his early days on his father's farm, obtaining little schooling. When 14 years old he went to the city of New York to learn the trade of a mason in which he was occupied six years and he served his master fifteen years after the expiration of his apprenticeship. In the spring of 1847 he enlisted in the Mexican war, enrolling in Company K, 6th U. S. Infantry, and sailing from New York for Galveston, Texas. The command marched to Matamoras and to Point Isabel, going thence to Fort Brown, crossed the Rio Grande, marched to Monterey, Buena Vista and Vera Cruz, where a contingent of the command was met which had come by way of New Orleans, and the whole division marched by the Bay of Tampico, fighting at Cerro Gordo April 18th, and on the 22d, Perote, town and castle, were occupied by the troops of Worth. March 15th they went to Pueblo, remaining three months while negotiations for the termination of hostilities were discussed. Mr. Faulkner was in the after movements of his command, and when General Scott took formal possession of the city of Mexico he was with his troops. They marched back to Tampico, thence to Acapulco, where they remained about three months and returned to Mexico, where Worth was placed under arrest and his command taken by General Cadwallader. They went leisurely back to Vera Cruz, passing three months en route, and there took passage for St. Louis, and Mr. Faulkner was discharged from Jefferson Barracks in November, 1848. He had been a soldier in the regular army two years before going to Mexico, his captain being D. Walker. As a veteran of the Mexican war, he received the Government badge with the following roster of battles inscribed on it: Tobasco, Vera Cruz, Palo Alto, Buena Vista, Cerro Gordo, Cherubusco, Chepultepec and San Pascual. After his discharge he returned to New York, where he engaged in the business of a mason until his removal to his present place of abode in 1855, where he was occupied as a mason until he again became a defender of his country's honor. June 17, 1861, he enlisted in Company A, 36th Illinois, the quota from Wisconsin being filled and no enlistments going on at that point. The regiment was under Colonel Grissell and Company A was commanded by Captain Baldwin. Mr. Faulkner was mustered at Aurora, Ill., and sent with the regiment to Rolla, Mo., and performed military duty in that locality in which the Union troops were endeavoring to guide the ship of State through the swelling tide of rebellion, and remained there through the fall until he contracted pleurisy of serious type and was discharged on surgeon's certificate in January, 1862, at Rolla. He had friends at Richmond, Ill., with whom he remained until he re-enlisted. Soon after reaching Richmond he attempted to enlist as a marine on the gunboat Thomas Benton, but her complement was filled, and in March, 1862, he enlisted in Company K, 8th Wisconsin Infantry, at Cairo, Ill. Many of the members were his friends and he went with the regiment to Saxton, Mo., and thence to New Madrid, crossing the river to the Kentucky shore to hold the rebels in check from reinforcing at Island No. 10. The military duty he performed through the spring was of varied character, and on the 9th of May he was in the fight at Farmington. He took part in the siege of Corinth, and was in the charge in which troops drove the rebels, and was next in action at Iuka. He fought again at Corinth and spent the winter in heavy labor at various points, beside performing all necessary military duty. In March he accompanied the command to the rear of Vicksburg, where he worked on the famous canal and took part in the battle of Jackson. He was in the movements of the regiment in connection with Grant's operations on the Mississippi and against Vicksburg, participating in the siege until he became ill from rheumatism and diarrhea, when he was again discharged on surgeon's certificate of disability Nov. 6, 1863. He returned to Richmond as soon as able and 10 days after his arrival there again re-enlisted Feb. 3, 1864, in the 5th Illinois (Elgin) Battery. After receiving equipments and drill in heavy and light artillery practice beside infantry tactics, the battery was sent to Knoxville, Tenn., and soon after to Chattanooga and through to Atlanta, whence they returned to Chattanooga, and in December, 1864, was in the battle of Nashville. The battery went thence to Louisville, Ky., journeyed thence to Cincinnati and Washington, whence they went to Newbern, N. C., preparatory to joining the command of Sherman, who was crossing the State of Georgia, and then went from Newbern to Kingston and moved with the troops of Sherman through the Carolinas to Charlotte; they connected with the command of Kilpatrick at Rolla, Mo. There Mr. Faulkner was mustered out and was discharged at Chicago, Nov. 27, 1865.

He returned to Richmond and worked at his trade there until 1871, when he located in Wisconsin. In 1872 he was married in Erie, Pa., to Mrs. Mary Coppersmith, who had two children named John and Ella. The former is postmaster at Genoa Junction and the latter has been for several years a successful teacher. Mrs. Faulkner is the daughter of Herman Patterson. Her brother, William, was a soldier in a Pennsylvania regiment and was wounded in the Wilderness. With her husband and children, she is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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