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John Fisher

Researcher: Tim Lynch


          In 1861 the south seceded from the United States, formed the Confederacy, and started the Civil War. This war lasted until 1865, and brought about many battles and soldiers. Among these soldiers was John Murray Fisher of Franklin, Massachusetts. John enlisted into the Union army under the 38th regiment in Company C.

            John was born on February 12, 1843. His father was Weston Fisher, his mother Marget. His father was a farmer born in Wrentham, Massachusetts. Marget was born in Waldoboro, Maine. John Fisher was never married.

            The 38th regiment for Massachusetts started August 24, 1862. A few days later they moved to Baltimore, Maryland and joined the defenses of Maryland. They left Baltimore September 8, 1862. They headed to Powhattan Dam after, and stayed there until October 12. After that they rode the Baltic steamboat for Ship Island, Mississippi on November 10th and arrived there December 14. They then moved to New Orleans and stayed there until February 11, 1863. March 6th they moved to Baton Rouge. On April 12 and 13th they fought at Fort Bisland in West Louisiana. This battle included around 684 casualties and a Union victory. Then May 22-25 brought about a battle at Port Hudson in east Baton Rouge. This battle included a long siege and an eventual Union victory that opened up the Mississippi River for traveling. There were also about 12,208 total casualties. After much traveling, April 23, 1864 brought about a fight at Monett’s Ferry. This fight was a Union victory with 600 casualties, but the Confederates had a chance to capture one army of the Union, and missed it. September 19 was the Battle of Opequan in Winchester. The battle of Opequan was considered a very important battle, which included the deaths of many generals for the Confederate and Union army. The Union won with a total of 8,630 casualties during the fight. Shortly after, on October 19 was the Battle of Cedar Creek. This was a key win for the Union in Shenandoah Valley, with the Confederates surprising them but counter-attacking to a victory. After that this regiment fought no more major battles and disbanded July 13, 1865. This regiment followed Generals Philip Sheridan and Nathaniel P. Banks.

            As for John Fisher, the war did not end well for him. He did not complete the war with his regiment, as he was M.I.A., he died in battle. He died at the Battle of Opequan in Winchester, West Virginia. Unfortunately, he departed this life at the young age of 21. He was buried on the battlefield. Since he passed away at such a young age and was in war for a long part of his life, John Fisher never married and probably had no job other than helping his father on the farm. John Murray Fisher valiantly died in battle, which is considered the best death in some cultures, but did not die in vain. He and his regiment were involved in many important battles and helped lead the Union to victory. Without efforts and sacrifices such as Fisher’s, the United States might still be two separate countries today or still have slavery.

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