We chose Israel B. Richardson as our namesake for several reasons.
While he was born in Fairfax, Vermont, Richardson settled in Pontiac, Michigan after he retired from the army in 1855. He became a gentleman farmer with little regard for his appearance. Governor Blair actually sent Orlando Wilcox to assess Richardson’s abilities because of all the stories he had heard about his future Major General. Luckily, Blair gave Richardson command of the 2nd Michigan Infantry regiment.
“Fighting Dick” was respected by his men. He performed well and was advanced from Colonel to Major General quickly because of his experience in the Mexican War and the Indian wars out west.
He led the 2nd Michigan Infantry during Bull Run, was a division commander during the Penninsula Campaign and into the Antietam Campaign. It was at “Bloody Lane” on September 26, 1862, that Richardson was wounded.
He was taken to the Fry House where he died on November 3, 1862. His remains were taken to Pontiac, Michigan for burial. The city fathers voted to pay for the burial plot.
Photo: Israel B. Richardson. Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-B813- 6429C]